Age-Related Hearing Loss

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Age-related hearing loss, called presbycusis, is the gradual loss of the ability to hear sounds and understand speech clearly. This loss of ability occurs so slowly that many people are not aware that they have hearing loss.

Common Causes of Age-Related Hearing Loss

About 30% of people over 65, and 50% of people over 75, have hearing loss. The most common cause of hearing loss is wear and tear from the aging process, though other causes may include:

  • Noise exposure
  • Hereditary factors
  • Health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes

Symptoms Can Include

  • Others’ speech seems mumbled or slurred
  • High-pitched sounds are difficult to hear
  • Conversations are hard to follow
  • Background noise interferes with hearing


Some people with presbycusis may need hearing aids. Aural rehabilitation can also retrain the brain to hear sounds that have been lost over time. To determine the extent of the problem and discuss treatment options, see an audiologist for a diagnostic hearing evaluation.

If you or someone you know suspects a hearing loss, please contact us at (800) 787-HEAR or visit us on the web.

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