If you have ever had problems with your hearing, you will have heard about age-related hearing loss. After all, age is the main cause of hearing loss in the UK. But what does it mean and how does age affect hearing?
Age-related hearing loss
As you get older, it’s normal for the quality of hearing to decrease. Presbycusis is the medical name for age-related hearing loss and it can start in the 40s. As time goes by from there, the condition progressively worsens and becomes more common. By the age of 80, the majority of people will suffer from some form of hearing loss.
It’s a natural part of the ageing process. In our early years, we have around 15,000 hair cells in the inner chamber of each ear. These play a role in helping us to hear. As we age, the hair cells in the inner ear begin to die. It’s simple, the more that do, the worse the hearing will get. Because these hair cells decrease over time, many people don’t notice the effects of the hearing loss until it’s obvious.
It, therefore, stands to reason that the older you get, the more likely it will be that you will suffer from hearing loss.
What causes age-related hearing loss?
Other than the obvious, time, there are a number of things that can impact the likelihood of the age-related hearing loss. This can include repeated exposure to loud noise, smoking and genetics.
Each of these affects the strength and condition of the hair cells. When these are damaged and die, there are fewer hairs to move the sound from the inner ear to the brain, resulting in hearing loss.
Treating age-related hearing loss
Depending on the cause of the hearing loss, some people will benefit from wearing hearing aids, especially those with presbycusis or acquired sensorineural hearing loss. There is no cure for sensorineural hearing loss, but hearing aids can help improve hearing.
Of course, the best way to diagnose and treat sensorineural hearing loss is to visit a hearing professional for a full evaluation.
The Hearing Centre is a specialist centre dedicated to helping those with hearing problems in Leicester and Market Harborough. To book a hearing test, click here or call us today on 0116 254 3909.