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What Is Presbycusis?

12 July 2016

Do you find it difficult to have a conversation with your family? Do you struggle meeting new people because you can’t hear them? Do you turn up the television every evening just to hear it?

If the answer is yes, you may be suffering from presbycusis. Originating from the Greek words presbys (old) and akousis (hearing), presbycusis refers to the gradual loss of hearing that affects around 30-35% of adults aged between 65 and 75 years of age. It is caused by the one thing we have no control over: time.

Understanding Presbycusis

Hearing loss is a common health complaint, with 40-50% of people over 75 suffering from age related problems, including presbycusis.

Presbycusis is a type of sensorineural hearing loss as the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear become damaged. Presbycusis affects both ears equally, so you may not be aware you have a hearing impairment! Presbycusis symptoms include struggling to hear conversations or being told you are talking too loudly. If these are occurring, book in for a hearing test with your local GP!

Presbycusis makes sounds less clear and lower in volume. High pitch noises are more greatly affected, so you’ll hear the rubbish lorry rumbling up but not your wife nagging you about the bins. Women and children are harder to understand than men.

Presbycusis Symptoms

Can you answer yes to the original questions? Do you struggle to hear high pitch sounds? Are you starting to develop tinnitus?

All of these are signs of presbycusis! See what else you can answer yes to:

  • Speech of others seems slurred or mumbled
  • High pitched sounds, especially “s” and “th” are hard to hear and distinguish
  • Conversations are difficult to understand, in particular with background noise
  • Men are easier to hear than women (we don’t mean selective hearing!)
  • Some sounds seem overly loud
  • Development of tinnitus in one or both ears

Treatment of Presbycusis

Short of developing a time machine, presbycusis has no cure. Once those hair cells are damaged, they do not grow back.

That doesn’t mean presbycusis has to have a negative impact on your life! There are several things you can do to help yourself:

  • Seek medical advice to confirm a presbycusis diagnosis rather than any other hearing impairment
  • Tell your family and friends and ask them to face you when talking and to speak clearly. Also remind them there is no need to SHOUT as that will distort their speech!
  • Discuss the possibility of a hearing aid or loop system with your GP
  • Explore Amplified Telephones to find the best amplified phone for you! Whether it is a mobile or a house phone, an amplified phone will make your life a lot easier!

Amplified Telephones offer a range of phones suitable for presbycusis, keeping you connected to the world. Presbycusis doesn’t have to be isolating and here at Amplified Telephones, we make sure it is not!

Take a look around Amplified Telephones today to find the range for you!