What is Presbycusis, and What Causes It?
Last Updated January 18, 2023
By Amy Sarow
Doctor of Audiology
Age related hearing loss due to natural aging is called presbycusis. It’s one of the most common forms of hearing loss and affects millions of adults over 50. Age related hearing loss can significantly impact the quality of life and social interaction, so it’s essential to understand what causes it and what can be done about it.
Types of Presbycusis (Age Related Hearing Loss)
There are four types of age related hearing loss. Unlike conductive hearing loss, which occurs when sound waves are blocked from passing effectively to the inner ear, age related hearing loss affects structures in the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss is usually caused by an accumulation of wax in the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear, or even physical damage to the eardrum or ossicles (three tiny bones in the middle ear). Difficulty hearing with age is often due to permanent hearing loss, making it easier to hear low-pitched noises and creating a hearing problem for high-pitched sounds. Presbycusis is the medical term for age-related hearing loss, which can occur due to several causes and in four main types.
Metabolic age related hearing loss results from changes in blood flow to the stria vascularis or metabolic breakdown. For some, health conditions that affect blood flow or circulation causes age related hearing loss.
Mechanical sensorineural hearing loss is caused by stiffness in the structures of the cochlea, while metabolic age related hearing loss results from changes in blood flow or metabolic breakdown.
On the other hand, sensory hearing loss is caused by damage to the sensory hair cells in the inner ear.
Finally, neural age related hearing loss comes about as a result of either impairment of the cochlear neurons or disruption of sound transmission along the auditory nerve.
Each type can contribute to some degree of hearing loss, so it is essential to investigate what could be causing your hearing issues if you are experiencing signs of age related hearing loss. In addition, conditions that affect overall health, such as high blood pressure or cardiovascular conditions, can affect the auditory nerve and should be addressed.
While age related hearing loss cannot be reversed, there are steps you can take toward preserving your auditory and cognitive health. If you are experiencing symptoms like difficulty understanding conversations, reach out to schedule an appointment with House of Hearing today.
House of Hearing has a broad portfolio of options available to treat mild up to even profound hearing loss. Please talk with us today about how we can get you hearing better with top brands of hearing aids. We’ll walk you through the process and ensure you’re getting the best possible hearing aid for your needs.
We understand that not everyone is the same, so we offer a variety of services to choose from including:
What are you waiting for? Improve your hearing today!
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