Physiological hearing loss related to age

Physiological age-related hearing loss varies between the sexes. Men start to feel uncomfortable with them earlier than women.

The ageing of the human body is an inevitable, irreversible and constantly progressing process. It applies to the whole, without exception, organism. Nor does it bypass the hearing system, which results in a hearing loss known as presbyacusis.

Old age deafness was noticed and described in the 19th century and was defined as “a hearing loss in everyone caused by ageing itself”. Today, this definition may seem too simple. Knowing the conditions of modern life, it is impossible to separate the ageing process from changes caused by environmental influences or systemic diseases.

It is a fact that the deafness of an elderly person can increase from 4 decades of age and it behaves very individually, reaching different levels in the following periods of life. Older deafness is mainly caused by changes in the inner ear. As you grow older, the number of damage to the inner ear increases as a result of small circulatory and metabolic disorders, noise and ototoxic effects of drugs, among other things.

It is estimated that 6-10% of people between 65 and 75 years of age are elderly deaf, while statistically it is more common for men than for women.

Progressive, bilateral, symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss is a characteristic symptom of age-related deafness, with an initial inaudibility of high-frequency tones that increases over time. Increasing the hearing threshold is also associated with impaired speech intelligibility.

Age-related hearing loss may be accompanied by tinnitus and dizziness, which are usually attributed to vascular lesions. All these factors make up the image of the so-called social deafness, which makes contact with the environment difficult. A patient with hearing loss feels isolated from social life, does not participate in conversations during family meetings, must ask, ask for a repeat of an official in a bank, post office, retailer in a shop. All of this makes him often feel insecure and, as a result, avoids contact with people, does not leave home, closes himself in his own world.

Old age deafness is not difficult to recognize, taking into account the age of the patient and all the above mentioned characteristics. However, careful consideration should always be given to the possibility that other causes of hearing loss may co-exist, especially in the case of asymmetric hearing loss and rapid onset of hearing loss. These symptoms can also be the result of temporary hearing loss due to past ear disease, after which the hearing returns to normal. However, if these symptoms are persistent, you should consult a doctor for a hearing test. Only physicians of certain specialties can decide whether or not to use a hearing aid and write a request to provide the patient with such equipment.

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