At What Age Is Hearing Loss Normal?

At What Age is Hearling Loss Normal?

Hearing loss is an extraordinarily common problem that tends to occur with age. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately one in three adults in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 experiences hearing loss. And, almost half of adults over 75 have trouble hearing.

Every person is different, and there are several factors that can accelerate age-related hearing loss (such as medication use, genetics and even smoking). In general, though, slight hearing loss is considered to be normal around age 65.

Sudden hearing loss, especially in one ear, may be a sign of a serious condition. If this occurs, call 911 immediately.

Why Does Hearing Loss Occur With Age?

Anyone at any age can lose their hearing for a variety of reasons. Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is linked to a combination of factors, including:

  • Natural degeneration of structures in the inner ear
  • Prolonged exposure to loud noises that damage sensory hair cells inside the ear
  • Certain medical conditions that commonly occur in older people and can impact hearing health (such as diabetes and high blood pressure)
  • Medications that can damage the inner ear, including Viagra and certain antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs

Other possible causes of hearing loss include injury to the ear, earwax buildup, infection and eardrum perforation. Call your primary care doctor or otolaryngologist if you have concerns about your hearing.

What Are the Signs of Age-Related Hearing Loss?

The answer to this question may seem obvious, but the early signs of hearing loss are often subtle and progress slowly. Many people don’t notice that they’re losing their hearing until it has significantly deteriorated. If any of the following scenarios apply to you, it may be time to consult with your primary care doctor or an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist about your hearing health:

  • You need to see someone’s face to understand them
  • Hearing women or children is especially difficult
  • You frequently ask others to repeat themselves
  • You must listen to the TV or radio at a higher volume than normal
  • You have trouble understanding others over the phone or in a noisy environment, such as a restaurant
  • You hear subtle ringing or buzzing noises
  • Other people sound muffled

Hearing Health Services at Tufts Medical Center Community Care

Tufts Medical Center Community Care is a multispecialty medical group with more than 120 providers who serve communities throughout north suburban Boston. Our team includes ENT specialists who provide world-class care to patients of all ages who are experiencing hearing loss and related conditions.

Contact Tufts Medical Center Community Care today to learn about our approach to hearing health and how we help treat and manage hearing loss. In-person appointments at our easily accessible locations are available, as well as convenient telemedicine services that allow patients to virtually consult with us from the comfort and safety of home. Our friendly professionals will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our providers, services and accepted insurances.

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With myTuftsMed, you can:

  1. View your health information including your medications, test results, scheduled appointments, medical bills even if you have multiple doctors in different locations.
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