Age-related deafness, also known as presbycusis, is a type of hearing loss that occurs gradually as a person ages. It is a common condition, affecting approximately one in three adults over the age of 65, and can have a significant impact on quality of life.
Presbycusis typically involves a loss of sensitivity to high-frequency sounds, such as those associated with speech sounds like “s” and “th.” As a result, people with age-related deafness may have difficulty understanding conversation, particularly in noisy environments. They may also have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds like doorbells, alarm clocks, and telephone rings.
The exact causes of age-related deafness are not well understood, but it is thought to be related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Exposure to loud noise over time, certain medications, and other medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes may also contribute to the development of age-related deafness.
There is currently no cure for age-related deafness, but there are several treatment options that can help to manage symptoms. Hearing aids are a common treatment option and can be particularly effective for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Assistive listening devices, such as personal amplifiers and telephone amplifiers, can also be helpful in certain situations. In some cases, cochlear implants or other surgical interventions may be recommended.
It is important for people with age-related deafness to receive regular hearing screenings and to work with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment options for their individual needs.