The most common hearing loss is an age-related hearing loss known as Presbycusis (from Greek presbys “elder” + akousis “hearing). From approximately 50 years of age, the tiny hair cells in the inner ear (the cochlea) start to deteriorate from use. The central auditory pathway (i.e. the auditory nerve to our brain) also starts to become less efficient at processing auditory information. This is a slow and gradual process which is why you may not be aware it is happening.
However, for many people with hearing loss, family members have typically raised concerns prior to a diagnosis. This may include family members frequently having to repeat themselves and asking for the TV or radio to be turned down. You may also find that people around you seem to be mumbling and that speech is difficult to understand, especially in noisy environments. This is another sign that you hearing is deteriorating. People with hearing loss often report feeling isolated, especially when at a social gathering.
Currently there is no prevention for an age related hearing loss.
Good News: The phrase “Use it or Lose it” is well applied to the early identification and management of hearing loss. Research has shown that the quicker people identify and manage their hearing loss the better the outcome. The longer a hearing problem is ignored the more difficult it becomes to adapt to hearing again (e.g. using hearing aids). The sooner you start your journey to hearing well again the better the brain adapts and wants to hear sounds the way it used to.
The most effective way to stimulate these pathways is with the use of a hearing device. This may include the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
It is important to know you are not alone and there are many solutions to assist you with hearing better.
If you, or somebody you know, is experiencing hearing difficulties the team at
All Ears Audiology would be delighted to meet you. Please call 8120 2110.