Hearing loss is a common disorder which gradually occurs in most people when they grow older known as Presbycusis. It is a progressive and irreversible sensorineural hearing loss. Likewise, an echoing noise such as ringing, whistling or buzzing in the ears could be Tinnitus. It is a condition of damage to tiny sensory hair cells of the inner ear. This module will help you know, how presbycusis causes tinnitus.
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What is presbycusis?
Presbycusis is a high-frequency hearing loss. It occurs in both ears to the same degree due to the damage of the cochlea or associated structures of the inner ear. Also, complex changes of auditory nerves leading to the brain can result in a loss.
Along with this, all types of loss including noise-induced loss, ototoxic medications, and other disease conditions also commonly causes tinnitus, chances increases by about 11%. This loss affects men more as compared to women.
It is an estimate that about 30-35% adults lose hearing (frequencies between 300 and 3400 Hz) at the age of 65 while for 75 years of age and more it increases to 40-50% of people.
However, aging consists of four sites and we can classify presbycusis based on these four sites. To illustrate my point, the damage arises from aging, develop at multiple sites right through the auditory system from the hair cells of the cochlea to the auditory cortex in the temporal lobe of the brain. Resulting in simultaneous changes in hearing at multiple sites of age, which are sensory, neural, metabolic and mechanical, or conductive presbycusis.
Although there are many symptoms of this loss which makes it easy to recognize, the aforementioned tinnitus is a very common symptom of damage which is heard only by the affected. Many people with presbycusis suffer from ringing, buzzing or hissing noises in their ears i.e. tinnitus.
Unfortunately, presbycusis cannot be prevented until now. There is no approved or recommended treatment available for this loss. But yes hearing aids help improve the hearing of many affected people in a true sense.