Age-related hearing loss (or presbycusis) creates a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Hearing loss in older adults affects their ability to communicate and understand speech. This may further lead to social isolation, depression, cognitive impairment, and loss of self-esteem. You can monitor your hearing by scheduling regular visits to an audiologist. They will evaluate your hearing and recommend the best treatment to help overcome your hearing problem.
Presbycusis is a common disorder associated with aging. Men are more likely to have hearing loss than women. Statistics reveal that 2 percent of adults aged 45 to 54, 8.5 percent of adults aged 55 to 64, 25 percent of adults aged 65 to 74, and 50 percent of adults aged 75 and older have hearing loss.
Hearing loss often begins when you are in your thirties or forties and worsens over time. As the hearing loss is gradual, you may not realize it until it worsens. A combination of lifestyle, genetic, and environmental factors gradually wear down your ears' delicate mechanics.
Factors that cause hearing loss include:
Hearing loss often develops slowly over time, so you may not know that you have a problem. As long as you can hear some sounds, you think that your hearing is fine. Symptoms of age-related hearing loss often begin with difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds and vary depending on the degree of hearing loss.
Levels of hearing loss include:
You may experience other symptoms, such as:
Visit your health care provider as soon as you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms. They will use an otoscope to check whether there is any damage in the eardrum or blockage in the ear canal due to ear wax, inflammation, or infection. They will refer you to an audiologist if your condition is worse. The audiologist will perform a hearing test to determine the degree of your hearing loss and recommend the suitable hearing aid or treatment accordingly.
Your audiologist may perform one of these tests to diagnose your hearing loss:
The type of treatment you will require to overcome your hearing loss varies depending on your age and the degree of hearing loss you have. Hearing aids are considered the best solution for most types of hearing loss. Even adults aged 70 and older can benefit from wearing hearing aids. There are different types of hearing aids to select from. Discuss your options with your audiologist and choose the one that suits your lifestyle, hearing ability, and budget.