Thursday, July 9, 2015

What is presbycusis?

Presbycusis (prez-bee-KU-sis) is hearing difficulty related to aging. It commonly starts in people in their 50’s.  Over time the hearing nerves (haircells) in the inner ear, begin to collapse causing gradual decrease in hearing ability.  We have about 15, 000 haircells in each ear.  These nerve fibers are pitch sensitive.  They're responsible for transmitting sound from the ear to the brain.  When they collapse, the ear no longer transmits sound correctly.  At first, high pitched sounds are affected resulting in a decrease in high frequency hearing.  Good high frequency hearing gives clarity or sharpness to words, allowing easy understanding of speech.

Over time more and more haircells collapse, causing greater and greater difficulty understanding speech. This slow gradual decrease in hearing ability creates the sense that it’s not you, it’s the way other’s talk.  You may feel people mumble which is one of the symptoms of presbycusis.  Others are: difficulty hearing soft talkers and understanding in noisy places. 

Hearing instruments can and do help.  They are tuned to match your hearing ability providing help specific to your needs. New hearing instrument technology has natural sound quality, separates words from background noise, cancels out room echo, improves hearing in a car, and much more.  Most hearing devices are small and sleek, and some are invisible!  People are very pleased with these devices.

Presbycusis typically runs in families.  If your parents had hearing difficulty later in life, you may also.  When you notice yourself making excuses for mishearing, such as people mumble or talk softly, it’s time for a hearing evaluation. Call to make an appointment.  You will be glad you did.  

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!
Jane Kukula, Au.D.Paula Webster, M.A.
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
440-205-8848Fax: 440-205-9818

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