Presbycusis: What is it?

Apr 19, 2022 | News

Presbycusis results from the natural aging of the ear. It, therefore, affects everyone from a certain age, and genetic and environmental factors (noise) can aggravate or hasten its importance. 

Here’s what you need to know about presbycusis!

What is Presbycusis?

Presbycusis is to hearing what presbyopia is to sight. However, a major difference is that presbycusis affects the sensory organ, that is to say, the auditory cells, which deteriorate over the years and do not regenerate. In contrast, presbyopia alters the eyeball without damaging the sensory organ (optic nerve). Thus the presbyopic will be able to find a perfect view with an adapted pair of glasses. But presbycusis can only be imperfectly corrected by amplification on the damaged frequencies.

It is important to clarify this notion so that the patient is not disappointed. However, the current quality of hearing aids must satisfy most patients who seek help.

8 Out of 10 Cases of Hearing Loss are Due to Aging of the Ear

Men are affected earlier than women, but the average age of attack is between 50 and 70 years for 75% of them.

Hearing discomfort is of gradual installation and slow evolution, mainly affecting the high frequencies (2000 Hz, 4000 Hz, and 8000 Hz). It is bilateral and symmetrical perception deafness (affecting the sensory organ). The ENT will make the diagnosis by carrying out tonal and vocal audiometry.

This attack on the high frequencies gives an essentially perceptible discomfort in a noisy environment, which frequently leads to an often sincere denial of the individual. “I can’t hear my wife talking to me in the kitchen with her back to me, with the hood on.” Yet it is on these frequencies that a good understanding of a conversation depends.

The indications for the device are proposed as soon as the patient encounters issues in social life, particularly in environmental noise conditions causing them to repeat or hear similar sounds. As a general rule, an average deficit of 35 dB indicates fitting, significantly since the earlier the fitting, the better the benefit for the user, slowing down the onset of cognitive disorders.

Prevalence of Presbycusis 

Unfortunately, the current noise pollution has aggravated presbycusis or advanced its age of onset. In addition to these earlier attacks, there are pure hearing lesions linked to noise attacks or pressure attacks independent of age but produce hearing curves very similar to those of presbyacusis.

Noise attacks remain the prerogative of high-risk trades. But fortunately, protective helmets in the workplace have existed for decades (work on forges, scrap metal workers, pneumatic drills, etc.). 

Young people remain the prime targets for these noise attacks these days: walkmans, concerts, nightclubs, etc. These may also be sound and pressure attacks: shooting, fireworks, firecrackers, explosions, etc.

Or pure pressure attacks: scuba diving, skydiving, and snorkeling. These sports often involve youngsters, and the hearing impairment is very close to presbyacusis impairment.

Hearing Aids, the Best Solution!

Hearing aids are the best solution for presbycusis. The specific choice of hearing aid will depend on the audiometry result. The specialist will recommend the best option adapted to each person since each of us has different needs.

For quality hearing aids and hearing care, contact Victoria ENT. Victoria ENT has been providing the best hearing care solutions and hearing aids to the residents of Victoria and beyond for over 40 years. Call (361) 573-4331 or visit their website for more information!