Age-related hearing loss: causes and symptoms
Age-related hearing loss, otherwise known as presbycusis, is one of the most common health conditions affecting elderly adults. As a condition that occurs gradually over time, this type of hearing loss can often go unnoticed, leading to social isolation and a reduced quality of life. If you recognise any of the following symptoms, you may need to book a consultation with your local Perth hearing specialists at The Art of Hearing.
Causes of age-related hearing loss
Age-related hearing loss commonly results from changes in the inner ear as we age. The sensory hair cells in the inner ear help detect sounds and transform them into nerve signals that are then picked up and interpreted by the brain. When these hair cells become damaged, they cannot regrow, resulting in gradual hearing loss. Whilst age-related changes often trigger this type of hearing loss, damage can also result from factors such as frequent exposure to loud noise, age-related medical conditions (such as diabetes and high blood pressure), hereditary conditions and certain medications. If you suspect you may be suffering from age-related hearing loss, a hearing specialist may be able to rule out whether your hearing loss is related to an additional medical condition.
Symptoms of age-related hearing loss
Since age-related hearing loss is something that gradually occurs over time, many sufferers are left unaware of their hearing problem. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from presbycusis and should organise a consultation with your Perth hearing specialists.
- Difficulty hearing higher frequencies: Individuals suffering from age-related hearing loss typically experience difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds such as women’s or children’s voices. This is often one of the first signs of age-related hearing problems. Sufferers may also have difficulty hearing certain consonants or sounds such as ‘s’ and ‘th’.
- Difficulty hearing in loud environments: Many people with age-related hearing loss have difficulty hearing in noisy environments. If you’re having trouble hearing others speak over background noise, this may be an indication that you have a problem with your hearing. The strain you then place on yourself trying to hear in social situations can often lead to additional problems such as fatigue and headaches.
- Difficulty perceiving “normal” sounds: This may seem obvious, but a key indicator of age-related hearing loss is difficulty perceiving regular sounds. If you’re turning the TV up louder than usual or always asking those around you to repeat themselves, you may need to get your hearing tested by your local audiologists.
Hearing loss treatments
Unfortunately, there is no cure for age-related hearing loss. However, there are several steps you can take to ensure your quality of life isn’t compromised by your hearing problem. If you recognise any of the above symptoms, you should organise a hearing test with your Perth hearing specialists. Many cases of age-related hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids and/or assistive devices such as telephone amplifiers. However, in more severe cases, your audiologist may recommend cochlear implants.
Book a consultation
If you’re beginning to recognise the early signs of age-related hearing loss, it’s important to book a hearing test with a recognised audiologist. Whether you’re a first-time sufferer or unhappy with your current hearing aid providers, the hearing specialists at The Art of Hearing can help you find a tailored hearcare solution that meets your needs.
To book an appointment at The Art of Hearing clinics, visit our website or give us a call on (08) 93908811.