The Causes of Hearing Loss: Aging

At Advanced Hearing, we believe that people with hearing loss can make good choices about treatments and hearing aids when they have a good understanding of their hearing loss. Developments in technology and innovation are ensuring that hearing aids are becoming more affordable for sufferers, providing a variety of different options for them, depending on their type of hearing loss. By having a deeper understanding into what is happening inside the ear and what the causes are, you can make informed choices about which tailored hearing aid is for you.

We also believe that it is important to understand how hearing loss is caused, so that prevention and alternative treatments can be found, which can significantly improve the ear health and quality of life of everyone, at any age.

Ageing: One of the Most Common Causes of Hearing Loss

Unfortunately, hearing loss is all part of ageing. In fact, it is often stated as one of the biggest, single causes of hearing loss in adults. Hearing loss which is caused or associated with ageing is often referred to as hearing “age-related hearing loss” or by its medical name “Presbycusis”.

Age-related hearing loss can often begin between the ages of 30-40 years old, when an adult may start to notice subtle hearing loss or a reduced quality in the sounds that they hear. This can be spotted by how you cope in conversations or when listening to music or the TV.

Usually, by the age of 80 years old, adults will begin to suffer from a certain level of hearing loss and difficulty in their daily lives as result.

What Causes Age-Related Hearing Loss?

Age-related hearing loss, or Presbycusis, occurs due to damage to the cochlea. The cochlea are sensitive hair cells found inside the ear, in the spiral, coiled tube section in the inner ear. Sometimes, these hair cells can die altogether, causing significant hearing loss. You may have heard this type of hearing loss also named sensorineural hearing loss. This term simply refers to hearing loss caused as the result of damage in the inner ear, rather than anywhere else. Conductive hearing loss is the alternative to sensorineural hearing, which refers to damage found in other areas of the ear. You can find more information about the different types of hearing loss in this blog series.

What Are the Effects of Age-related Hearing Loss?

As your hearing deteriorates as you age, high-frequency sounds are likely to cause the most difficulty. High-frequency sounds refer to high-pitched voices such as those of some females and children. You may also start to find difficulty in hearing consonants in words. Listening to a conversation or details of what some-one is saying where there is a lot of background noise is also likely to cause you a lot of difficulty as you age. What Should I Do If I Think I Have Age-related Hearing Loss?

The first thing that is important to understand is that it is very difficult to self-diagnose hearing loss. If you are beginning to experience difficulty in hearing, consult a specialist doctor as soon as you can. Once you have your diagnosis, get in touch with the team here at Advanced Hearing. We'll be happy to help you decide what to do next, and the best way to cope with hearing loss.