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presbycusis (deafness of aging)


  • gradual age-related loss of hearing initially is a high tone hearing loss and is associated with difficulty in speech discrimination, particularly in noisy environments, and becomes a major impediment and socially isolating factor for many elderly persons
  • significant presbycusis can contribute to isolation, loss of self-esteem, depression, frustration, reduced quality of life and, possibly, dementia.
  • self-reported deafness in Australia rises steadily with age:
    • 10% men aged 35-44yrs
    • 20% men aged 45-54yrs
    • 30% men aged 55-64yrs
    • 35% men aged 65-74yrs
    • > 50% men aged over 75yrs
    • rates for women are approximately half that of men up to age 74yrs, then they increase to about 35% for women over 75yrs
  • it is exacerbated by drug induced ototoxicity and noise-induced deafness


  • multifactorial in aetiology;
  • it is thought to result from age-related degeneration of the cochlea with the cumulative effects of extrinsic damage (exposure to noise and other ototoxic agents) and intrinsic disorders (e.g. medical disorders), as well as inter-individual differences in genetic susceptibility.


presbycusis.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/27 18:20 (external edit)