How to Say It: Pres-bih-CUE-sis
Presbycusis is a gradual loss of hearing in both ears. It is due to aging.
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Age-related hearing loss is caused by:
Other things that cause damage over time are:
Age-related hearing loss is more common in men, and people over 60 years old.
Other things that raise the risk are:
Hearing loss happens slowly over time in both ears. Symptoms may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam may be done. The doctor will check the inner ear with a lighted tool. Some basic tests will be done to check hearing.
Other tests may include:
Hearing loss cannot be reversed but further loss may be slowed. The goal of treatment is to reduce problems from hearing loss. Options are:
To reduce the risk of age-related hearing loss:
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
American Tinnitus Association
Canadian Hearing Society
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology
Age-related hearing loss. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Available at:
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Accessed February 22, 2021.
Age-related hearing loss. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/age-related-hearing-loss. Accessed February 22, 2021.
Patel R, McKinnon BJ. Hearing loss in the elderly. Clin Geriatr Med. 2018;34(2):163-174.
Presbycusis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/presbycusis. Accessed February 22, 2021.
Last reviewed January 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Mary Beth Seymour, RN
Last Updated: 2/22/2021