Age Related Hearing Loss
The most common type of hearing loss is age related hearing loss, which is often seen as a natural part of the aging process. This is mainly due to the deterioration of the hair cells in the inner ear, and explains why hearing continues to worsen with age.
Age related hearing loss, also known as Presbycusis, is described as a progressive condition, affecting both ears at the same rate, and is a form of sensorineural hearing loss, in which the hearing organs themselves are damaged. Some individuals may experience more than one type of hearing loss.
How Many People Have Age Related Hearing Loss?
Studies suggest that amongst people aged from 65 to 75, about 25% will develop age related hearing loss. This increases to around 50% for the over 75 age group. Some of these people may have begun to develop hearing loss at a much younger age, but failure to seek help as soon as possible can cause hearing loss to worsen.
Many people do not notice their hearing deteriorating, as this is usually a slow process that occurs over a long period of time. It is important to be aware of the signs of hearing loss so that you can be alert to any problems with your hearing or that of your loved ones. Regular hearing tests that can diagnose hearing loss and keep track of any deterioration in your hearing are a good idea at any age.
Signs Of Age Related Hearing Loss
If you notice that you, or a loved one, are doing any of the following, it may be a good idea to make an appointment with an experienced audiologist as soon as possible:
1. Turning up the television. If you realise that you require the television to be at a higher volume than previously, or that you cannot hear it clearly when others you are watching with can, you may be experiencing hearing loss.
2. Having trouble hearing phone calls. Hearing a conversation on the phone can be problematic, and you may notice yourself favouring one ear or asking the person you are speaking with to repeat him or herself. This difficulty in using the telephone may be associated with hearing loss in one or both ears.
3. Finding conversations difficult. If you have hearing loss, you may be finding it harder to take part in conversations. You may find that it is more difficult to be involved in a conversation if you cannot see the speaker, or if you are not in a well lit area.
4. Struggling with noisy environments. Many social environments, such as restaurants or clubs, come with a great deal of background noise and chatter to navigate. This can be very difficult if you have a hearing loss, especially if environmental noise makes it harder to hear those you are with.
How Is Age Related Hearing Loss Treated?
Most age related hearing loss can be effectively treated with hearing aids, and you may be surprised at how discreet and effective these can be! A good audiologist will work with you to find out exactly what sort of hearing loss you are experiencing, and to find the best hearing solution for you. Digital hearing aids can be invisible to others, and some models can connect with other devices such as your mobile phone or television to make life easier for you.
You might just find that the hearing loss you are experiencing is due to earwax build up. Many people would be completely unaware that this is the case. Also if you do have an ear wax build up you may experience ringing sounds or buzzing noises in your ears, making you think you have Tinnitus. Many find that after they have their ear wax removed the ringing noises subside along with the hearing loss.