(Presbyacusis; Age-Related Hearing Loss; Presbyacusia)
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- Gradual degeneration of the inner ear
- Changes the bone structure of the ear, a condition called otosclerosis
- Changes in the hearing nerve pathways in the ear leading to the brain
- Repeated exposure to loud sounds, music, or equipment which can damage the fragile hair cells within the inner ear involved in hearing
- Hereditary or genetic influences
- Noticeable loss of hearing of higher-pitched sounds, such as female voices, telephone ringing, or bird calls
- Sounds that appear less clear and sharp
- Difficulty understanding conversations, particularly in noisy places or while speaking on the telephone
- Ringing in one or both ears, a condition called tinnitus
- Background sounds appear overly loud or bothersome
- Ear fullness with or without vertigo
- Rinne test—to test if hearing loss the hearing loss is nerve related
- Weber test—to determine if the hearing loss is one-sided
- Audiometry —to determine level and extent of hearing loss
Hearing Aids and Assistive Listening Devices
- Follow treatment plans that help manage health conditions that may cause hearing loss.
- Avoid repeated exposure to loud noises and sounds of any type, including those at work, home, and during recreation.
- When working with loud machinery or in loud environments, wear protective ear plugs or ear muffs.
- If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how you can quit.
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery http://www.entnet.org
American Tinnitus Association http://www.ata.org
The Canadian Hearing Society http://www.chs.ca
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology http://www.entcanada.org
Canadian Hearing Society http://www.chs.ca
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology http://www.csohns.com
Gates GA, Mills JH. Presbycusis. Lancet. 2005;366:1111-1120.
Hearing impairment in the elderly. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated July 1, 2013. Accessed September 20, 2013.
Presbycusis. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/Pages/presbycusis.aspx . Updated June 7, 2010. Accessed September 20, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013