As We Age, Does Our Hearing Loss Worsen?

Man with hearing problems or hearing loss. Hearing test concept.

Does hearing loss get worse as you get older? Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent conditions impacting all adults as they age, but it’s a gradual process. Actually, over 50% of those 75 and older have trouble hearing.


Presbycusis is defined as age-related hearing loss or the slow process of hearing loss as we get older. There is no one definitive cause for this to happen, but it is typically considered to be a combo of many factors.

Changes occur in our inner ear as we age. There are little hair cells in our inner ear that help us to hear. They pick up sound waves and change them into nerve signals that our brain utilizes to translate sound.

The beginning of hearing loss happens when the hair cells are damaged or die. Hearing loss that is the result of damage to these hairs is permanent as these hairs never restore.

The following are some causes of hearing loss:

  • The risk of hearing loss is increased by frequently listening to loud music, especially with headphones.
  • Smoking increases the risk of hearing loss.
  • Particular medications including chemotherapy drugs raise the risk.
  • Heredity plays a role in hearing loss.
  • Loud noises like going to concerts frequently or working in an environment with consistent loud noise.
  • Various medical disorders like diabetes can result in hearing loss.

Some common symptoms of age-related hearing loss

Typical symptoms of presbycusis include lack of clearness when people speak, trouble hearing soft voices including kids, and difficulty hearing when there’s background sound.

Other indicators of hearing loss include regularly asking people to repeat what they said, ringing in the ears, and needing to turn up the volume on the TV.

Dealing with age-related hearing loss is important

Neglected hearing loss reduces quality of life. Untreated hearing loss is linked to depression, sadness, anxiousness, cognitive decline, poor social relationships, and the risk of dementia.

Rather than dealing with these problems, think about possible treatments, such as hearing aids, sign language for those who have severe hearing loss, telephone amplifiers, lip reading, or a cochlear implant.

Struggling with age-related hearing loss isn’t something that anyone should have to do. You can still have a complete and enjoyable life.

If you or someone you love is struggling with hearing loss, contact us today to schedule a hearing assessment!

Older Adults — Hearing Health Foundation
Hearing Loss: A Common Problem for Older Adults | National Institute on Aging (
Seniors and Hearing Loss – American Academy of Audiology

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.