Age-related hearing loss: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

The loss of hearing occurs slowly over time. It is most difficult to hear high-frequency sounds, such as someone talking. As hearing gets worse, it may become difficult to hear sounds at lower pitches.

Symptoms include:

  • Certain sounds seem overly loud
  • Difficulty hearing things in noisy areas
  • High-pitched sounds such as “s” or “th” are hard to distinguish from one another
  • Men’s voices are easier to hear than womens.
  • Other people’s voices sound mumbled or slurred
  • Ringing in the ears

The symptoms of presbycusis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Talk to you health care provider if you have any of these symptoms.

Diagnosis & Tests

A complete physical exam is performed to rule out medical conditions that can cause hearing loss. The health care provider will use an instrument called an otoscope to look in your ears. Sometimes, wax can block the ear canals and cause hearing loss.

http://www.health32.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/ear-anatomy1.jpg

You may be sent to an ear, nose, and throat doctor and a hearing specialist (audiologist). Hearing tests can help determine the extent of hearing loss.

Age-related hearing loss: Overview, Causes

Age-related hearing loss: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Age-related hearing loss: Treatment


Review Date : 5/13/2009
Reviewed By : Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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