Presbycusis refers to the progressive loss of hearing due to the aging of the hearing system. The onset of presbycusis typically occurs around 60 years old. This natural, irreversible phenomenon is the result of cell generation in the ear.
Besides age, several factors play a role in determining the severity and deterioration rate of presbycusis: genetic predisposition, exposure to certain medication, ear disorders, smoking, and exposure to noise at work and at play. Limiting prolonged exposure to noise over 80 dB or wearing hearing protection devices can help preserve the quality of your hearing.
According to a survey conducted by Statistics Canada in 2012-2013 on the prevalence of hearing loss among Canadians aged 20 to 79, "Measured hearing loss rose sharply after age 40, to reach 65% at ages 70 to 79." The population aged 65 or older is projected to double, reaching 10.4 million by 2036.
There is growing recognition of the negative impacts of hearing loss on the quality of life of those affected. Such impacts include greater isolation, pulling out of activities, solitude, and in some cases, even depression.
Early diagnosis and the use of hearing aids help maintain a better understanding of speech and have a significant positive impact on the quality of life of those affected by hearing loss.
When to Get Your Hearing Checked?
There are many signs that can point to hearing loss. If you find that others are not speaking clearly, that you often have to ask them to repeat themselves, that you tend to have to turn up the sound on the television, or that those around you say that you speak loudly, it would be a good idea to have your hearing checked.
Visit a hearing care professional and request a hearing test.