(presby = elder, cusis = hearing) or age related hearing loss is the gradual
loss of hearing that occurs as people get older.
involves a progressive sensorineural
. Presbycusis most often occurs in both ears, affecting them
Everyone who lives long enough will develop some
degree of presbycusis, sooner or later. Those who damage their ears from loud
noise exposure will develop it sooner. It is estimated that 40-50% of people
aged 75 and older have some degree of hearing loss.
are the most common cause of presbycusis.
With presbycusis, a person has difficulty hearing high-frequency sounds
as speech. Inability to participate efficiently in conversations often leads to
depression. The process of hearing loss is gradual and often people with
presbycusis may not realize that their hearing is diminishing.
The diagnosis of presbycusis involves ruling out
other causes of hearing loss. It is done with the help of physical examination with an otoscope to examine the inner ear and
The treatment depends on the extent of hearing loss
determined after a hearing test. Hearing
aids, assistive listening devices, speech reading and/or cochlear implants
can help people with presbycusis.