What you need to know about age-related hearing loss

 

Hearing problems can affect people of all ages. How-ever, age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, affects nearly half of all people who are 75 and older. Here’s what you need to know about hearing loss as you get older.

CELL DEGENERATION As you age, the tiny hair cells inside your ear can become damaged or die. Unfortunately, this causes progressive hearing loss.

However, hearing issues can also develop if the nerve pathways that carry information to your brain become less efficient. This can occur as a result of hereditary factors as well as various health conditions and taking certain medications.

In addition, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease can accelerate hearing loss.

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HIGH-PITCHED SOUNDS Cell degeneration mainly affects the part of your ear responsible for hearing high-pitched sounds. Conse-quently, if you have presbycusis, you may be able to hear low-pitched noises but not register high-pitched ones. Your brain will therefore need to work extra hard to fill in the information gaps, which can make communication difficult.

Regrettably, age-related hearing loss is permanent. However, solutions like wearing hearing aids can improve your quality of life.

To have your hearing tested, consult an audiologist.

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