What is presbycusis?
Medicine uses the term presbycusis to refer to the gradual decrease in hearing capacity that occurs with age. In other words, presbycusis is the reduction in hearing ability in older adults.
It is estimated that about half of older adults (people aged 75 and older) have hearing problems related to the gradual decline in their sense of hearing.
In the case of presbycusis, both ears are affected, and the situation worsens over time. These hearing problems can be perceived in the loss of attention skills, such as difficulty in listening to the phone or understanding a conversation with another person.
It may be an inevitable condition and is related to the complex changes that occur in the nervous pathways as the body ages, affecting both the ear and the brain, and may be triggered by various factors.
Symptoms of presbycusis.
- Difficulty in understanding a conversation between friends or family members in noisy environments like parks.
- The need to listen to the TV at a high volume.
- Loss of attention to everyday sounds.
- Feeling isolated or lonely due to a lack of conversation.
- Sensitivity to noises like motorcycles, horns, etc.
What causes presbycusis?
There is no proven cause of presbycusis, and scientists are still investigating the changes that occur in the brain as it ages and how they affect sound processing.
At the same time, it can be said that some genetic factors are associated with a higher likelihood of losing hearing ability in old age. In other words, if a patient’s family history includes hearing loss, it may be a cause for developing presbycusis.
It is essential to recognize presbycusis in time and help older patients treat the condition so that they can regain the well-being of sharing with their loved ones and living alert to external stimuli.
Understanding that presbycusis has a psychological impact on older adults is important to give it the necessary importance of finding an efficient treatment.
Diagnosis of presbycusis.
Presbycusis is diagnosed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist, an otolaryngologist, through an analysis of a test called audiometry. The specialist can measure the patient’s ability to perceive sounds and diagnose tonal audiometry.
Once the problem is precisely diagnosed, the doctor can recommend a solution that helps the patient regain their quality of life.
Considering how important hearing ability is to maintain a high quality of life, it is essential to support older adults in finding a solution to their condition, in order to recover their emotional stability and self-esteem.
Treatments for presbycusis.
Various devices have been developed to help increase auditory perception in presbycusis patients. However, the application of each option will depend on the level of condition in each patient.
Hearing aids for patients with mild or moderate conditions:
These are over-the-counter devices that are placed comfortably in the ear and come into contact with the ear to send a stronger sound signal to the patient, making it easier to perceive.
The design is that of a lightweight and easy-to-use electronic device that is worn like a kind of hearing aid and helps amplify sound waves so that they can be picked up by people with mild nerve hearing impairments.
These are also electronic devices but require surgical intervention for direct implantation in the inner ear.
They were designed to amplify sound waves and send the signals to patients with severe hearing damage. They are also recommended as an option for people with profound deafness.
Although the exact cause of presbycusis is unknown, there are some risk factors that can predispose a patient to this condition, including:
- Constant exposure to loud noises, such as people who work in noisy environments or are exposed to these loud stimuli for long periods of time.
- High blood pressure.
Dr. Lech can offer you a solution for presbycusis.
Dr. Lech can help you.