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Losing Hearing as You Get Older?

Should I Be Concerned About Age-Related Hearing Loss?

One in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 and more than half of people over the age of 75 suffer from age-related hearing loss, which is also known as presbycusis. So what is this common condition and what should you know about it?

What is Presbycusis?

Age-related hearing loss is caused by a variety of things, including tiny hair cells getting damaged and bones in the inner ear becoming stiffer, making the nerves less sensitive to sound.

Hair cells don’t regrow, which means that hearing loss caused by hair cell damage is permanent. There’s no single cause of presbycusis, but the factors that contribute to it are:

  • Family History
  • Repeated Exposure to Loud Noises
  • Smoking
  • Medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • Medications, such as chemotherapy drugs

Are There Any Symptoms?

Presbycusis occurs slowly over time, so it can be difficult to diagnose. However, there are some early symptoms to be aware of:

  • Feeling like others are speaking too quickly for you to understand
  • Feeling like others are mumbling
  • Difficulty focusing due to environment noises
  • Having to listen to the television or radio at a higher volume
  • Asking people to repeat themselves more often than normal
  • Ringing in ears

What You Can Do About Age-Related Hearing Loss

To properly diagnose age-related hearing loss, your physician will do a complete physical exam and they will also look into your ears using an otoscope. This can help determine whether the problem is due to wax buildup. Seeing an audiologist is also a good option to get more extensive hearing tests.

If diagnosed with hearing loss, a physician might suggest hearing aids, telephone amplifiers, sign language if the hearing loss is severe, or a cochlear implant.

Contact Dr. Marc Dean at 817.332.4060 to schedule an ENT exam in Fort Worth Texas to find out if you’re suffering from age-related hearing loss.

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