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(Age-Related Hearing Loss)
by Alice A. McCarthy, MBA
Presbycusis is the gradual loss of hearings that is associated with aging. High pitched sounds are lost more often or earlier than low-pitched sounds.
Presbycusis is caused by changes that occur with age. There are several possible causes of presbycusis such as:
Risk Factors TOP
Presbycusis is more common in men, and in people over 75 years old. Other factors that may increase your chance of presbycusis include:
Presbycusis may cause:
With presbycusis, hearing loss is usually very gradual. It affects both ears equally.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will perform a visual exam of your ear canal and eardrum with a lighted instrument called an otoscope.
Tests may include the following:
Treatment options include the following:
Steps that may help your ability to hear include:
Hearing Aids and Assistive Listening Devices
Talk with a specialist to see if a hearing aid is right for you. An audiologist will then be able to do tests to find the best type of hearing aid for you. Sometimes hearing aids will need to be replaced with other models if your hearing loss gets worse.
Other devices like a telephone amplifier may also help. It will make speech over the phone clearer for you.
To help reduce your chance of presbycusis:
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
American Tinnitus Association
Canadian Hearing Society
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology
Age-related hearing loss. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) website. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/age-related-hearing-loss. Updated June 29, 2017. Accessed August 22, 2017.
Age-related hearing loss. American Speech-Lnaguage-Hearing Association. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed August 22, 2017.
Gates GA, Mills JH. Presbycusis. Lancet. 2005;366(9491):1111-1120.
Huang Q, Tang J. Age-related hearing loss or presbycusis. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Aug;267(8):1179-91
Last reviewed January 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 2/7/2018
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