Prevalence of age-related hearing loss

How common is age-related hearing loss? And when and why do we get it?

Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is the loss of hearing that gradually occurs in most of us as we get older. It is one of the most common conditions affecting seniors and older adults.

Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 have self-reported hearing loss, mainly because of ageing. You can also get age-related hearing loss at a much younger age. However, as the name says, this type of hearing loss is related to our ageing. Nearly half of those older than 75 have age-related hearing loss.  When we pass the age of 80 almost all of us will have some degree of age-related hearing loss. In other words, you could call it “normal”.

Why do we get age-related hearing loss?

An age-related hearing loss typically arises from changes in the inner ear as we age. Age-related hearing loss occurs when the tiny hair cells in the inner ear are damaged or die. Contrary to many of our other cells, the hair cells in the inner ear do not re-grow or regenerate.

Still more people with age-related hearing loss

More and more people around the world have age-related hearing loss. This is due to the simple fact that we tend to live longer and therefore there are more and more people over the age of 60.

Unknown and untreated

Many people actually do not know that they have an age-related hearing loss as it develops slowly over time. There are however some signs and symptoms of age related hearing loss that you can look for. Still others know that they have a hearing loss, but for some reason do not seek treatment. The typical treatment of age-related hearing loss is the use of modern digital hearing aids.

Age and noise in combination

People who experience hearing loss in their senior years will typically have a combination of both age-related hearing loss and noise-induced hearing loss. This is because as we age we are also exposed to noise during our lives and noise also affects our hearing by damaging the hair cells in our inner ear.


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