Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is a gradual decline in hearing ability that occurs as people age, affecting both ears. If you’re beginning to lose your hearing and you’re in your sixties, it’s an incredibly common occurrence. In fact, one in three adults over the age of 65 suffers from hearing loss. 

It typically affects the perception of high-pitched sounds initially, eventually extending to lower-pitched sounds. This common condition impacts many older adults. Consulting with an audiologist in Los Angeles is highly recommended and should be your first step toward recovering your hearing.

Read on to learn the causes, symptoms, and where to find age-related hearing loss treatment in Santa Monica.

The Causes of Presbycusis

The primary cause of age-related hearing loss is the natural deterioration of hair cells within the inner ear, which interferes with sound transmission. This type of hearing loss is known as sensorineural hearing loss. Additionally, age-related changes can affect the eardrum or the middle ear bones, further impeding sound transmission. Long-term medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes, as well as circulation issues, may also contribute to age-related hearing loss.

Age-Related Hearing Loss Symptoms

Age-related hearing loss typically affects both ears and can vary in severity from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty understanding speech, especially in noisy environments.
  • Reduced ability to hear high-pitched sounds, with lower-pitched sounds often becoming easier to discern.
  • Experience of tinnitus, characterized by ringing, roaring, or hissing sounds in the ears, which may worsen as hearing loss progresses.
  • Muffled hearing: Sounds and speech may seem muffled or unclear, even in a quiet setting.
  • Fatigue or stress from straining to hear: Feeling tired or stressed from the constant effort required to hear and understand speech.

Due to the gradual nature of age-related hearing loss, individuals may not immediately realize their hearing is impaired. Family members or friends may be the first to notice, as those affected by progressive hearing loss may unconsciously adapt by increasing the volume of the TV or moving closer to speakers.

How Can I Treat My Age-Related Hearing?

Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination, symptom assessment, and possibly hearing tests (audiometry tests). An audiologist should be consulted for specialized tests to determine the extent of hearing loss.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for age-related hearing loss. However, several devices can assist individuals in hearing and communication. These include hearing aids, telephone amplifiers, pagers, smartphones, and tablets. Additionally, asking family and friends to make communication adjustments, such as speaking clearly and facing the individual, can be beneficial.

To manage age-related hearing loss, it's essential to avoid loud noises and use hearing protection when exposed to them. Adhering to the prescribed use of hearing aids is also crucial. Communication aids such as telephone amplifiers, closed captioning, email, and text messaging can enhance communication. Speechreading, which involves observing gestures, expressions, posture, and tone of voice, can also be helpful in understanding others.

By implementing these strategies, individuals can effectively manage age-related hearing loss and maintain a high quality of life.

Where to Find Help for Hearing Loss in Santa Monica

At Arcade Hearing, we understand the frustrating, debilitating, and unfortunate nature of hearing loss as you age. Since 1946, our board-certified audiologists and expert team have been providing Southern California and the greater Los Angeles area with the best audiology services, hearing aids, and courteous hearing services, along with the latest innovations in hearing technology to help you with your hearing loss. 

At our state-of-the-art Santa Monica office, our warm, caring, friendly, and knowledgeable staff can help you with your age-related hearing issues with:

  • Hearing consultations

Our Santa Monica audiologists can offer personalized advice on how to mitigate your age-related hearing loss and recommend the best hearing aid solutions for your needs.

Want to speak with an expert audiologist in Santa Monica and take steps toward regaining your hearing?