Presbycusis is the loss of hearing that gradually occurs with age. Hearing loss is a common disorder; significant number of adults between the ages of 65 and 75 years experience it. Presbycusis most often occurs in both ears, affecting them equally. Because the process of loss is gradual, people who have presbycusis may not realize that their hearing is diminishing. The loss associated with presbycusis is usually greater for high-pitched sounds.
There are several causes of presbycusis. Mostly, the disorder occurs because of the changes in the inner ear of a person as he or she ages. The disorder can also result from changes in the middle ear or from complex changes along the nerve pathways leading to the brain.
In the disorder, sounds often seem less clear and lower in volume. This contributes to difficulty hearing and understanding speech.
Those with presbycusis may experience several of the following symptoms.
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