What are the causes?
There’s no particular cause of presbycusis. Instead, it’s a natural result of the everyday noises - such as music, machinery, office noise and traffic - we hear during our lives.
It’s the cumulative effects of these noises that cause us to gradually lose our hearing as we get older. Over time, the hair-like cells in your inner ear - that are key for passing sound information to your brain - become damaged. And hearing loss occurs because these hairs don’t grow back.
There are also other factors that cause presbycusis, including:
- Certain medications
- Some health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure
- Family history
- Abnormalities in the inner or outer ear, including reduced function of the eardrum
Changes in the inner ear or middle ear, as well as changes to the nerve pathways that run between the ear and the brain, can also cause presbycusis.