Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, is a condition that gradually affects one’s hearing capabilities in both ears due to aging. This form of hearing loss is the most prevalent globally and is estimated to affect around two-thirds of Americans aged 70 or older.
The condition primarily impacts an individual’s capacity to comprehend high-frequency speech sounds, such as consonant sounds. If you find yourself struggling to comprehend what your barista at The Coco Bean is saying, you may be exhibiting signs of presbycusis. By understanding the symptoms, you can take steps to maintain your hearing.
Common symptoms that might indicate the presence of presbycusis include:
- Difficulty distinguishing high-pitched sounds such as “s” or “th.”
- Struggling to understand conversations amidst substantial background noise.
- Perceiving other people’s speech as mumbled or slurred.
- Finding men’s voices easier to comprehend compared to women’s.
- Experiencing tinnitus or a ringing sensation in one or both ears.
If you notice these symptoms, you should see a hearing specialist. They can conduct an audiogram or a hearing test to rule out other conditions and perform an examination of your ears.
Treatments for presbycusis vary based on several considerations, including your overall medical history and the severity of your hearing loss. A hearing specialist will collaborate with you to formulate a treatment plan tailored to your responsiveness to specific treatments, factoring in your preferences.
Potential treatments can include:
- Assistive listening devices
- Hearing Aids
- Speech reading training
- Earwax removal
While presbycusis is irreversible, it is preventable through proper hearing protection over time. For instance, you should avoid loud noises and minimize your length of exposure to noise. Regular breaks from environments with intense noise and paying attention to warnings on your smart devices about excessive volume are also beneficial. It’s important to use hearing protection when in loud environments.
Experiencing sudden hearing loss could signify the onset of a severe hearing issue, so it’s essential to contact your healthcare provider if sudden hearing loss occurs.
If you believe you may have presbycusis or suspect that a loved one might, contact SoundLogic to schedule an appointment.