What Causes Presbycusis?

woman in blue shirt with mild hearing loss

There are many different types of hearing loss that impacts people around the world today. One of the most common is presbycusis. You may think that you are not familiar with this type of hearing condition. However, presbycusis is the term that is used to describe the situation where people start to gradually lose their hearing as they get older.

It is a common disorder that is linked with aging. The statistics show just how common this is. In fact, did you know that 50% of individuals aged 75-years-old or older have presbycusis? This tends to happen gradually, and so often people are not aware of the changes that are occurring. 

The Causes of Presbycusis

One thing that a lot of people want to know is what causes presbycusis. There can be a lot of different reasons why people end up experiencing this type of hearing loss. However, in most cases, it happens because of an age-related change in one of the following three areas; the nerve pathways to the brain, within the middle ear or within the inner ear. Some of the different factors that can contribute to presbycusis include the following:

  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Health
  • Aging
  • Hereditary factors
  • Loss of hair cells, the sensory receptors in the inner area
  • Cumulative effects of noises in the environment 

The Different Symptoms of Presbycusis

Now you know the various causes of presbycusis, it is vital to understand the symptoms so that you can determine whether you have this condition. If you have noticed any of the signs we mention below or feel that there is something wrong with your hearing, it is vital to get in touch with an audiologist as soon as possible. 

So, let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms that tend to be connected with presbycusis:

  • Tinnitus can occur in one ear or both of your ears
  • Some sounds may seem annoying and overly loud
  • You find it easier to hear men’s voices rather than women’s 
  • Conversations can be very challenging to understand, especially if there is noise in the background.
  • It is challenging to distinguish high-pitched sounds, like th or s
  • Speech of other people sounds slurred or mumbled

If you notice any of these signs, speaking to an audiologist and getting their expert advice is the evident next step. Don’t delay in doing so. If you suspect that you have presbycusis, the best thing to do is get in touch with an audiologist who will be able to determine whether or not this is the case. They will carry out hearing tests and ask you about your medical history so that they can get to the bottom of the condition you are experiencing. If they conclude that it is indeed presbycusis, they will make sure you are provided with the most appropriate treatment for your specific requirements.