Associated symptoms | Age-related hearing loss

Associated symptoms

Accompanying symptoms of presbyacusis can be of various kinds. One indication may be a beginning inability to separate different noise sources and to concentrate on the desired sound. In the technical terminology this is described as a cocktail party effect.

It also describes a concrete situation in which this phenomenon can be observed. If a person is at a cocktail party, there are usually many people in one room and the atmosphere is very noisy. A person with normal hearing can concentrate well on his conversation with the person opposite him in such a background noise and can virtually “suppress” the background noise.

Someone with presbyacusis cannot do this and finds the background noise as loud as the conversation with the person opposite. If the person concerned observes this phenomenon in himself, a hearing test can provide certainty. In addition to this altered hearing perception, it is most likely to be a diminished cognitive performance that can be observed.

However, this does not necessarily have to be accompanied by a deterioration in hearing ability. Rather, it should be seen in such a way that an incipient aging process does not only begin specifically on a body part or organ. Rather, it affects the whole body. It is therefore not uncommon to observe not only the onset of presbyacusis but also, for example, diminishing vision or skeletal changes.

Which frequencies are affected?

Frequencies in the ascending range above one thousand Hertz are mainly affected. Experts refer to this as the high-frequency range. However, it must be taken into account that the perception of hearing is not only dependent on the frequency but also on the sound pressure level. The auditory perception in the interaction of decibel and hertz must therefore always be considered in relation to each other.

What are the treatment options?

A presbyacusis only needs to be treated if it affects the affected person himself or herself and he or she wishes to receive treatment. The simplest treatment option is the use of hearing aids. These can be selected from a hearing aid specialist of choice.

It is important to find an individually fitting model that offers a very high level of wearing comfort. This is the only way to guarantee that the person concerned wears the hearing aids regularly. Depending on preference, the hearing aid can be worn either behind the ear or in the ear.

A detailed test and explanation of the handling of the hearing aids will be provided by a specialist. Although surgery is possible to improve a hearing loss in the inner ear such as presbyacusis, surgery is not recommended in the special case of presbyacusis. It is a progressive degeneration process that affects not only the inner ear but also, in many cases, the auditory nerve.

However, in order for the surgery to be successful, the auditory nerve must be intact. If its function is impaired, an implant in the inner ear (a so-called cochlear implant) cannot bring about any improvement. Therefore, a significant improvement in quality of life in the form of undisturbed communication can only be achieved with hearing aids.

They are also much less risky to use than surgery and can be removed, re-inserted or fitted as desired. The point at which the use of a hearing aid makes sense depends entirely on your subjective well-being. If conversations can only be conducted with difficulty or if everyday life is strongly influenced by the decreasing hearing ability, it is recommended to use a hearing aid, at least on a trial basis.

During this trial period, the person concerned can then decide for himself whether or not the hearing aids will bring about an improvement. Those affected usually notice the appropriate time later than their surroundings. Often it is family members or people close to them who find the hearing loss disturbing in their communication.

So if people in their environment address this problem, affected people should not react with false pride or be offended. Rather, they should accept it as good advice. After all, the sooner you use a hearing aid, the easier it is to use the new devices and the easier it is to adjust if your hearing continues to deteriorate.

If you are unsure whether your hearing ability is declining, you can also have a non-binding hearing test carried out by an ENT doctor or in a hearing aid specialist shop. The test result only gives a recommendation for further action and is not a commitment. The use of homeopathic remedies can neither cure nor significantly stop the presbyacusis.

However, since the balance of electrolytes in the inner ear plays a major role, the targeted intake of potassium chloratum globules may possibly bring about an improvement. They provide the body with additional minerals in the form of potassium chloride, which can have a beneficial effect on the hair cells. However, this has not been scientifically proven.