What Is Presbycusis?
Presbycusis—the leading cause of hearing loss in adults—is the gradual, age-related loss of hearing.
As with many of the body’s organs, damage occurs with age in different parts of the ear, notably in the cells of the inner ear. Generally speaking, the ability to hear high-pitched sounds is affected first. Changes occur slowly in both ears and the hearing loss progresses gradually over time. Since words also become less clear, presbycusis affects communication. In addition, presbycusis is often accompanied by tinnitus (ringing in the head or ears).
The prevalence of hearing loss increases with age, but its severity varies according to genetic and environmental factors.
There are various ways to compensate for this type of permanent hearing loss.
Wearing hearing aids can reduce presbycusis-related communication difficulties.
BY MARIE-HELENE GUILMAIN, Audiologist, Polyclinique de l’Oreille