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Presbycusis – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Written by Dr.Mary

What is Presbycusis?

This is age-related loss of hearing – the slow hearing loss occurring as individuals grow older.

Symptoms of Presbycusis

The hearing loss happens slowly over time. It is hardest to hear sounds that are high-frequency such as an individual talking. As the hearing gets worse, it might become hard to hear sounds at pitches that are lower.

Symptoms include:

  • Some sound seem too loud
  • Sounds that are high-pitched such as “s” or “th” are hardest to distinguish from one another.
  • Problems hearing in areas that are noisy
  • Voices of males are easier to hear than women’s
  • Other individuals’ voices often sound slurred or mumbled
  • Ringing in the ears

The symptoms of this loss of hearing can resemble other medical or condition problems. Talk with your healthcare provider when you have any of the above symptoms.

Presbycusis Causes

The ears contain hairs that are tiny inside that help with hearing. These hairs collect sound waves transforming these waves into the signals the nerves can take to the brain to interpret as sound. Loss of hearing happens when these hairs that are tiny inside the ear die or become damaged. These cells of hair do not regenerate, so the majority of loss of hearing of this kind is long-lasting.

There is not any single known cause for hearing loss that is related to age. Mostly, it is due to changes in the inner ear that happens as a person grows older. But loud noises such as from headphones or rock concerts and a person’s genes – can play a big role in when this occurs.


The following are factors that contribute to hearing loss that is age-related:

  • History of family – hearing loss that is age-related runs in families.
  • Exposure repeatedly to noises that are loud.
  • Smoking – smokers are most likely to have this type of hearing loss than are individuals who do not smoke.

There are certain medical problems as well as medications can also add to hearing loss that is related to age. Approximately half of all individuals over age 75 have some quantity of hearing loss due to age.

Presbycusis Treatment

There is no cure that is known for hearing loss due to age. Treatment mainly focuses on improving the hearing function every day. The following can be of help:

  • Telephone amplifiers as well as other devices of assistant.
  • Hearing aids
  • Sign language – for individuals with hearing loss that is severe.
  • Reading speech – such as reading lips and using cues that are visual to help in communication.

A cochlear implant can be optional for some individuals with hearing loss that is very severe. Surgery is performed to situate the implant. This implant makes sounds seem louder but it does not restore normal hearing.

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