As we get older, our bodies may not work as well anymore. Things that may have been working well can start to lose their effectiveness. One of the things that can potentially get worse over time is your hearing,
Age-related hearing loss, medically referred to as presbycusis is the gradual loss of hearing in both ears. It typically impacts your ability to hear high-pitched noises like the phone ringing or the beeping of your microwave. The thing about age-related hearing loss is that it happens slowly, over time.
Causes Of Age-Related Hearing Loss And Symptoms
The causes of age-related hearing loss are many and it normally happens in the inner ear, within the middle ear, and along the nerve pathways to your brain. When those things are disrupted, you can be sure that age-related hearing loss will soon follow. Things like long-term exposure to loud noises, loss of hair cells that help you hear, health conditions like heart disease or diabetes and side effects of some medications are all probable causes of age-related hearing loss.
When it comes to identifying the symptoms, it can be hard to tell. For some, those symptoms are similar to other health problems, which makes it more difficult to spot unless you go to a doctor. Some of those symptoms include hearing other people’s speech as mumbled or slurred, having trouble hearing high-pitched sounds, having trouble understanding conversations, particularly when there is a lot of background noise, more difficulty hearing women’s voices as opposed to men’s voices, hearing some sounds louder than others and hearing a ringing sound in one or both ears.
How Is It Treated?
Just because you lost your hearing does not mean you will never be able to hear again. There are plenty of advanced treatments that will help you navigate through life with age-related hearing loss. There are hearing aids, assistive devices like phone amplifiers or technology that converts spoken word to text, learning how to speech read and using methods to prevent earwax buildup in the outer ear.
How Can It Be Prevented?
The best thing you can do for yourself to protect yourself from age-related hearing loss is to stay away from loud noises. Also, try to reduce noise exposure. Avoid smoking. When you have an ear infection, get it treated right away. You do not want to let ear infections go on too long without treatment, otherwise, you are putting your hearing in jeopardy. If you do have to be around loud noises, make sure that you wear earplugs or special fluid earmuffs. These tools prevent more damage to your hearing.
If you suspect that your hearing is not as good as it used to be, consider consulting with your doctor. They will be able to accurately analyze the situation. You could have a build-up of earwax instead of age-related hearing loss. Either way, you will not know for sure unless you are checked out by a professional.