Hearing loss in aged people – disease number 1.
The expert speaks of so-called presbycusis In case of hearing problems in old age. This is typically a bilateral, symmetrical, progressive sensorineural hearing loss at higher frequencies.
After the age of 50, the hearing ability deteriorates automatically. However, if hearing loss is beyond a certain range, if it is particularly fast and requires special care, it may be for the following reasons:
- Genetic predisposition
- Circulation disorders
- Prolonged noise exposure
- Metabolic problems
- High blood pressure
- Nerve damage
- Ototoxic medications
Untreated hearing loss significantly impacts the quality of life of those affected. The lack of communication can lead to loneliness and depression. Likewise, the age-related hearing loss is directly related to the development of dementia, as well as an increased risk of disease in general, due to deteriorated doctor-patient communication.
Thus, early detection and treatment of hearing loss are extremely important for those affected. In addition to different medical treatment options, hearing aids or hearing implants are at the top of the list.
A visit to an ENT specialist is required for the right diagnosis and accurate assessment of the severity of hearing loss. After an examination of the external auditory canal and the eardrum and after excluding other or pre-existing diseases, a hearing test is performed in a soundproof booth. The result is documented in a so-called audiogram. Once the elderly patient reaches the critical level of hearing loss, the physician will likely diagnose him/her with presbycusis.