Presbycusis is the loss of hearing that gradually happens in most individuals when they get older. Hearing loss is a common disorder associated with aging. About 30-35 percent of adults between the ages of 65 and 75 years have a hearing loss. Presbycusis most often develops in both ears, affecting them equally. The hearing loss associated with presbycusis is usually greater for high-pitched sounds. It may be difficult for someone to hear the nearby chirping of a bird or the ringing of a telephone.
What cause presbycuis?
Presbycusis is normally caused by gradual changes in the inner ear. The cumulative effects of repeated exposure to daily traffic sounds or construction work, noisy offices, equipment that makes noise, and loud music can also cause presbycusis, or appear as a side effects of some medicines.
Presbycusis may be caused by changes in the blood supply to the ear because of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. The cause may be due to a decreased blood supply to the inner ear. This lack of blood supply could dampen the growth of the tiny hairs of the inner ear.
Lifestyle habits may play a role in who is affected by presbycusis. Habits such as smoking tobacco and heavy drinking can diminish hearing capabilities in some people.
The most common symptoms of presbycusis are:
• The speech of others seems mumbled or slurred.
• It is difficult to hear and tell apart high-pitched sounds such as “s” and “th”.
• Hearing ringing sounds in the ear
• Conversations are difficult to understand, especially when there is background noise.
• Certain sounds seem annoying or overly loud.
• A man’s voice is easier to hear than the higher pitches of a woman’s voice.
The two most obvious preventative measures that can be taken to avoid presbycusis include wearing ear defenders if you work in a noisy place, and also turning the volume down when listening to music