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What Is Presbycusis?

 In Ear Health, Hearing Loss, Types of Hearing Loss

Does this sound like you?

  • You have difficulty understanding speech in a noisy background.
  • You have trouble hearing women’s and children’s voices.
  • You find that speech is less clear, especially high-frequency consonants (e.g. “s”, “f”, “th”).
  • You often complain others are mumbling or not speaking clearly.

If so, you may be suffering from presbycusis.

Presbycusis is gradual loss of hearing as someone ages. It is also known as age-related hearing loss. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2025, 1.2 billion people over the age of 60 worldwide will suffer from presbycusis.

In one study, the percentage of people with hearing loss, defined by audiometry, increases with age:

  • Ages 44-54: 11 percent
  • Ages 55-64: 25 percent
  • Ages 65-84: 43 percent

Presbycusis usually affects the high frequencies, or the high-pitched sounds, first. It usually affects both ears equally. Because it is so gradual, most people don’t even realize they are losing hearing.

When presbycusis sets in and how severe it is depends on the person. Many risk factors can worsen the hearing loss. Some of these factors include hypertension, diabetes, vascular disease, chemotherapy and noise exposure.

If this is sounding more and more like you, don’t worry. Presbycusis is highly treatable. Patients with certain degrees of presbycusis usually use hearing aids to rehabilitate their hearing loss. If they are still having trouble even with hearing aids, assistive listening devices can further improve their hearing.

There is a simple fix that can open up your world of sound again. So why wait? To treat your age-related hearing loss, contact Arizona Hearing Center by phone at 602.313.1243 or by email at [email protected]

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