Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is a condition caused by a gradual loss of hearing associated with growing older. It is one of the most common conditions that affects people as they age. Nearly half of people older than 75 have some form of hearing loss.
If you have trouble hearing, it can be difficult to understand those around you, know when the phone or doorbell is ringing, and respond to warnings. When you can’t understand what your loved ones and friends are saying, it can limit your involvement and lead to feelings of isolation.
If you have presbycusis, you may experience these symptoms:
- Conversations are hard to understand, especially those with background noise
- High-pitched sounds, such as an “s” or “th,” are difficult to distinguish
- Men’s voices are easier to understand than women’s
- Some sounds appear overly loud and irritating
- Speech of others seems muffled or slurred
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) may develop in one or both ears
The symptoms of presbycusis may often look like other conditions or medical problems. Speak with a skilled audiologist at UPMC Susquehanna who can assess your symptoms to determine the best course of treatment for you.
There are a variety of factors that cause age-related hearing loss. Presbycusis most often occurs when changes take place in these areas:
- Along the nerve pathways to your brain
- Within your inner ear (most common)
- Within your middle ear
Other causes of presbycusis include:
- Continuous exposure to loud noises
- Hereditary factors
- Loss of hair cells (the sensory receptors within your inner ear)
- Side effects of some medications, like aspirin and certain antibiotics
- Various health conditions, like heart disease or diabetes
We are dedicated to the health of our community — which is why we offer complete care for hearing disorders to help you experience better health.
Treatment for presbycusis will depend on the following factors:
- Your age, medical history and overall health
- Extent of your condition
- Your ability to tolerate certain medications, therapies or procedures
- Your personal preferences
Your doctor may recommend these treatments for presbycusis in Williamsport and Bloomsburg:
- Hearing aid(s)
- Hearing assistive devices (like telephone amplifiers)
- Speech-reading training (to understand what is being said using visual cues)
- Avoiding loud noises and limiting your exposure to noise
UPMC offers testing and treatment for presbycusis in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.