This is a very normal part of life, you will start seeing a decline in how well you are able to hear. This is also known as age-related hearing loss. There are some who will get age-related hearing loss at an earlier age than others. This type of hearing loss is sometimes referred to as Presbycusis.
Hearing loss: When Does it Begin?
If we were to just put it simply, people will start to lose their hearing as they enter their 40s. The stats regarding hearing loss are quite astonishing. About one out of every 5 adults suffer from hearing loss and this number goes up as we go into the older demographics. With people above the age of 80, this number is 1 out of every 2. One other thing to mention is that although the burden of hearing loss falls disproportionately on older people, about half of the people with hearing loss are in the working-age class. (source)
What are the symptoms of this type of age-related hearing loss?
You may be quite rightly asking the question, what exactly are the signs and symptoms of this type of hearing loss. Well, when it comes to age-related loss of hearing, there are some signs that you need to look out for. They have been discussed below in more detail.
Before we move on to the symptoms, however, we have to understand that this type of hearing loss takes some time to fully develop. This is the main reason why a lot of people who suffer from this type of hearing loss are not able to tell that they have issues with hearing. The most common scenario is that you will have a noticeable decline in your ability to hear high-frequency sounds.
As mentioned above, probably the most common symptom of this type of hearing loss has to do with high-frequency sounds. This is why a lot of the people who suffer from age-related hearing loss will have trouble making sense of children’s and female’s voices.
Another very common complaint with this type of hearing loss is that people experience a lot of difficulties in making sense of sounds in noisy environments. This can be parties, meetings, all kinds of social gatherings, etc.
Another symptom to look out for is that you may start to miss out on a lot of daily sounds. Common things like the sounds of birds chirping, the sound of running water, etc; if you have problems with hearing these sounds, then you may have age-related hearing loss.
Some other signs and symptoms you should look out for include the following:
- Having to constantly turn up the volume of your devices
- Constantly asking people to repeat what they have said
- Not being able to hear people behind you
- Problems with telephonic conversations
- Being unable to hear the sounds of doorbells ringing
- Some sounds seem unnaturally loud
- You have a type of ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, then it would be wise to get your hearing tested as soon as possible. You should contact your physician or an audiologist as soon as possible.
The first thing to realize is that this type of hearing loss cannot be cured. However, there are still a whole host of things you can do in order to help yourself lead a more or less normal life.
The most common way of treating this type of hearing loss is by using hearing aids, especially for conditions like tinnitus. If the case is very severe, then you will probably need to use some kind of cochlear implant.
Hearing aids can really make a difference in the lives of people with hearing loss and they can really help them hear better. While it is true that hearing aids cannot bring back your hearing, they can still help us a lot by making the most use out of the hearing we still possess.
As we have previously mentioned, this type of hearing loss develops gradually and over a period of time. In fact, it is very similar to how our vision will also change as we age. This is why it is extremely important to make sure that you get your hearing checked on a regular basis. If you do this, you will be able to know if your hearing is getting worse and you can proceed to take necessary actions.
So, why does our hearing get worse as we age? Well, to put it simply, as we get older, we lose parts of our ability to hear. As mentioned above, there will be some who will get it earlier than others and the degree of hearing loss will also vary from one person to another.
This type of hearing loss can also be down to a person’s genes. Then there are also certain environmental factors that also have the potential to bring about age-related hearing loss in someone. Just for example, if you are regularly exposing yourself to extremely loud environments, then this will obviously take a toll on your hearing.
Some lifestyle factors can also cause this type of hearing loss. A very prominent example of this is smoking. There are also some types of medical conditions that can cause a person to develop hearing loss.