Does hearing loss get worse as you age? Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting all adults as they age, but it is a slow process. In fact, over one half of those 75 and older have difficulty hearing.
Presbycusis is defined as age-related hearing loss or the slow process of hearing loss as we get older. There is no one definitive cause for this occurrence, but it is usually considered a combination of many factors.
Changes occur in our inner ear as we get older. The tiny hair cells in our inner ear help us to hear. They pick up sound waves and change them into nerve signals that our brain uses to interpret sound.
The beginning of hearing loss occurs when the hair cells become damaged or die. These hair cells do not regenerate or grow back, so any hearing loss is permanent.
Some of the causes of hearing loss include the following:
- Certain medical conditions like diabetes can lead to hearing loss.
- Hearing loss runs in families.
- Loud noises like going to concerts frequently or working in an environment with consistent loud noise.
- Smoking increases the risk of hearing loss.
- Certain medicines including chemotherapy drugs increase the risk.
- Wearing headphones when listening to loud music can increase the risk.
Common Symptoms of Age-Related Hearing Loss
When you have difficulty hearing soft voices, children’s voices, voices when there is a lot of background noise, and overall lack of clarity when someone speaks are all symptoms of Presbycusis.
In addition, raising the TV volume, asking others to repeat what they said, and ringing in ears can also be signs of hearing loss.
The Importance of Treating Age-Related Hearing Loss
Untreated hearing loss decreases quality of life. Untreated hearing loss is linked to depression, sadness, anxiety, cognitive decline, poor social relationships, and the risk of dementia.
Instead of these issues, consider possible treatments like hearing aids, sign language for those with severe hearing loss, telephone amplifiers, lip reading, or a cochlear implant.
No one should suffer with age-related hearing loss. There are ways to enjoy your life again.