Age-related hearing loss, also referred to as Presbycusis, is a hearing loss that is caused by degeneration of the hearing organ over time. It is common that this hearing loss gradually occurs in most adults as they grow older through wear and tear and is one of the four leading chronic health conditions experienced by the senior population in Australia.
This hearing loss typically affects both ears equally and it progresses from the high pitches of sound to low pitches of sound with ageing. Presbycusis most commonly impacts on high pitches of speech sounds which greatly impairs an individual’s ability to understand speech. This degradation in the ability to understand speech becomes even more challenging in noisy and reverberant environments like cafes and restaurants. Tinnitus has also been associated with hearing loss. This is because as hearing sensitivity decreases, the perception of a ringing or buzzing noise can become more noticeable to the individual.
Although age-related hearing loss is not a life-threatening condition, it can still have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life if it is left unmanaged and untreated. It can cause people to withdraw from social situations or limit interactions with family and friends without even noticing that it has to do with their hearing. This can lead to loneliness, isolation or depression as the individual stops communicating with people around them. It is important to remember that hearing cannot be restored once it is lost. So be aware of potential sources of damaging noise such as loud music, power tools and firearms. Ensure that you are wearing earplugs or earmuffs if you are exposed to these sounds.
Age related hearing loss happens slowly over time and often people are not aware of the change at first. It is important to have regular hearing assessments to understand if your hearing is slowly deteriorating over time.
Common signs that this hearing loss may be affecting you, include finding speech sounds to be muffled and having more difficulty understanding words, especially when there is background noise. Adults with Presbycusis often find that they are straining to hear conversation and they need to use more effort than normal to listen when there is background noise. This can often make people feel tired or fatigued as they are concentrating more than ever to hear. It is also common to find yourself asking people to repeat or rephrase themselves more and more. Often it is a person’s significant other or family that notice that the volume of the television or radio are slowly being made louder over time.
At EAR STUDIO, we offer a comprehensive hearing assessment that can assess all parts of the hearing and understanding process. This is important in evaluating with the individual what impact their hearing is having on their life.
Many pensioners are not aware that they are entitled to free hearing care through the Australian Government. At EAR STUDIO, pensioners can get access to hearing services without an out-of-pocket cost. This includes free consultations and hearing services to find a solution to your hearing issues as well as free hearing aids that are fitted by qualified professionals in a private clinic. EAR STUDIO is committed to helping you hear the best you can so that you can find joy in conversations and social gatherings. Contact us on 9159 6122 to speak to one of our team members or to make an appointment.