Presbycusis & audiogram interpretation
Presbycusis is one of the commonest causes of symmetrical bilateral hearing loss. It occurs gradually and most noticeable affects, at least initially, the higher frequencies. It is due to natural ageing of the auditory system: cochlear hair cells and auditory nerve fibres are damaged symmetrically over time.
Patients with high-frequency hearing loss will often report being able to hear when someone is speaking (from the louder, low-frequency vowels) but not being able to understand what is being said (due to the loss of consonant information). Hearing deficits are exacerbated in the presence of competing background noise
While there is no cure, there are a range of options to assist with hearing depending on the degree of loss. These include hearing aids for mild, moderate and severe hearing loss, and cochlear implant for a bilateral profound hearing loss.