There are many different forms of hearing loss and by far the most common form is age related hearing loss (Presbycusis). Age related hearing loss is a natural part of the aging process. The passing of time is something that impacts on people differently but as we get older the hair cells in your inner ear begin to die and the more hair cells that die, the worse our hearing will get. It therefore stands to reason that the older you get, the more likely it will be that you will suffer from hearing loss.
Research indicates that around one quarter of people aged between 65 and 75 will suffer hearing loss which is related to their age alone. For people over the age of 75, it is believed that around half of the population suffer from hearing loss which is purely down to their age. It is no wonder, then, that this provides a huge source of frustration for a large amount of people, invariably not just those who are suffering. You should be aware that many people will start to suffer a decrease in the quality of their hearing in their 30s or 40s but this is where people being unable to recognise the problems can have an impact.
What is Presbycusis?
Age related hearing loss is also known as Presbycusis and is the cumulative effect of aging on hearing. It is a progressive bilateral symmetrical age-related sensorineural hearing loss. The hearing loss tends to be significantly more at higher frequencies. Hearing loss that accumulates with age but is caused by factors other than normal aging is not Presbycusis, although differentiating the individual effects of multiple causes of hearing loss can be difficult.
Learn more about sensorineural hearing loss.
What are the signs of age related hearing loss?
One of the biggest factors about age related hearing loss is the fact that it deteriorates slowly over time, which means that people don’t really notice it until it has become very obvious. If a person loses their hearing through illness, injury or an accident, the loss of hearing can be noticeable immediately. This provides people with the opportunity to get investigated and hopefully find a solution to their hearing problem. When the quality of your hearing diminishes over time, you may not notice and this means you could leave it a lot longer to receive help. While it should be noted that hearing loss through age is incurable, it can often be assisted by the use of devices such as hearing aids. This means there is always hope that your hearing can be improved and boost your chances of being able to lead as normal a life as possible.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
There are two main types of hearing loss. Presbyacusis is the type of hearing loss that is referred to above and is sensorineural, while the other form of hearing loss is called a conductive hearing loss. The biggest factor in presbyacusis is the aging process but there will sometimes be other factors involved. Age-related hearing loss can be hereditary, according to several studies but there are also environmental factors that are also known to cause this condition. For instance, repeated exposure to loud noise is proved to have an impact on age related hearing loss . There have been numerous studies that indicate smokers are also more likely to develop age related hearing loss. This is because the quality of the blood supply is vital to our hearing, and for this reason other illness/conditions/medication can also impact our ability to hear.
The main factor in age related hearing loss comes when these hair cells, which are extremely sensitive, are damaged and eventually die. When there are fewer hairs to move the sound from the inner ear to the brain, hearing loss occurs.In addition to old age, some of the common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:-
- Infection such as meningitis or mumps
- A loud noise
- Benign Tumours
- Meniere’s Disease
- Neurological Conditions
How is Age Related Hearing Loss Diagnosed?
It is important to ensure that you are being well looked after and being proactive can help you to live a longer, healthier and happier life. There are many ailments and conditions that can affect the human body, which can be properly treated if caught early enough. Going to see a doctor or medical professional on a regular basis will give you the best opportunity of having any problems resolved at an earlier basis. Your hearing falls into this category and you should have an annual check if you are over 60/believe you have a hearing/know you have hearing loss.
If you start to become aware of diminished hearing, it is important for you to see a GP or hearing professional as soon as possible. They will be able to carry out a number of simple tests and if they suspect that you are suffering from hearing loss, they will give you the appropriate advice, be that a hearing solution or maybe a referral to an ENT specialist. There is absolutely nothing to worry about and if you do have hearing issues, a hearing specialist will provide you with the best support.
At Hidden Hearing we provide free hearing tests, so if you do have concerns about your hearing, it is important to see a hearing professional. Some people will think that getting older means you have to put up with these issues. This is not true as there is support and assistance available so even if your hearing loss is age related, you don’t have to suffer in silence.
Treatment of hearing impairment
Hearing loss can significantly affect your quality of life in a negative direction. It can be hard to maintain an active life when you can’t hear what’s going on around you. Fortunately, most types of age-related hearing loss can be treated with the right hearing aids.
Developments in hearing aids have been significant over the years. When you choose Hidden Hearing, you have access to the best hearing aids on the market, which means you can regain your hearing. Our hearing specialists help you find the best hearing aids for your hearing loss that suit your lifestyle so you can continue to live a good life full of quality time with the people you love.