Age-Related Hearing Loss – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Biotechnologist Thomas Brutnell is the vice president of Gateway Biotechnology based in St. Louis, Missouri. Thomas Brutnell oversees research and development of both natural plant products and repurposed drugs that prevent noise-induced and age-related hearing loss.

Age-related hearing loss, also called presbycusis, is a common condition among seniors, affecting one in three people aged 65 and 74. As a person gets older, their hearing can deteriorate, making it harder to perceive or distinguish sounds. The loss happens gradually such that many seniors don’t even know they have difficulty hearing. However, a person who has trouble hearing the other voice on the telephone, is often asking people to repeat what they said, cannot hear over background noise, thinks that others are mumbling, or can’t distinguish between the voices of women and children, is most likely suffering from hearing loss.

There are a number of factors that have been attributed to age-related hearing loss. They include exposure to drugs that harm sensory cells in the ears like some chemotherapy medications, exposure to loud noise, injuries like a punctured ear drum, age-related conditions like diabetes and stroke, or changes in the ear-to-brain nerve pathways. In some cases, genetics also plays a role.

If you or someone you know has age-related hearing loss, consult a physician immediately. While the condition is serious, there are hearing devices and treatments that can improve one’s hearing.