Nearly 500 million people suffer from some form of hearing loss. And experts say by year 2050, that number will jump to 900 million. One condition responsible for deafness is Presbycusis, an age-related degradation that results in inner ear hearing loss.
According to experts at one hearing clinic marion county in residents should have regular hearing tests, especially after age 50. Deafness, like tinnitus, can be relatively spontaneous and, in some cases, chronic. Older people often suffer from presbycusis, but symptoms can present themselves in a number of different ways. Hearing care professionals say the sooner any loss is treated, the better the treatment success.
How Does Presbycusis Develop into Hearing Loss?
In most cases, normal physical wear and tear is the main cause of age-related deafness as one gets older. The hair cells, which are indispensable for our hearing, are always set in vibration when sound affect them. However, if the volume becomes too high the hair cells will buckle and can’t regenerate. Thus, the affected persons hearing becomes worse.
In addition to the natural wear and tear process, there are other factors that can promote senile hearing loss:
- Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases
- Genetic factors / familial predisposition
- Nicotine consumption
- High blood pressure
- Middle ear infections
And then sometimes there is a harmless cause behind the hearing loss, such as the abundance of earwax. Experts warn that incorrect cleaning of the ears with cotton swabs can cause unwanted earwax to be pressed into the eardrum, which can significantly reduce hearing performance. To clean an abundance of ear wax, you can rinse the ear with warm water, or allow a professional to perform the task.
What Are Symptoms of Hearing Loss?
Since hearing loss can have different causes, the symptoms also differ from each other. In principle, a hearing loss manifests itself when the affected person starts to perceive sounds or noises at a reduced volume. Some patients also perceive ambient noise as distorted or dull and can only hear loud sounds.
Depending on the severity, hearing loss can lead to changes in the inner ear. Since the ear is an organ of equilibrium, hearing loss symptoms can include dizziness, headaches or impairment of the sense of balance. Frequently tinnitus occurs together with hearing loss. The annoying ear noises even become exacerbated as hearing loss becomes more pronounced in some cases. Therapy often includes a hearing aid in which an ambient noise filter can not only reduce hearing loss, but also help to significantly reduce the intensity of tinnitus.
What Are the Consequences If Left Untreated?
The consequences of an untreated hearing loss can be varied, but mainly affect speech. Conversations become difficult, and this typically causes frustration in hearing-impaired people, so that they increasingly withdraw from social scenes. Studies have also found that untreated hearing loss carries a higher risk of dementia. Due to the lack of stimulation, the brain diminishes in activity and it worsens in performance. Presbycusis can thus have a negative impact on the quality of life of those affected, accelerate a mental degradation and should therefore be treated urgently.