Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) affects nearly one third of the elderly. It generally starts around middle age and is more common in men. The changes causing this take place in the cochlea, a cavity in the middle ear. This contains many tiny hairs that convert sound vibrations into electrical impulses, which are interpreted by your brain. As we grow older this type of hearing loss is termed sensoryneural hearing loss. It is permanent and cannot be corrected surgically. People with this type of hearing loss will probably need hearing aids.


  • Learning to read lips will be helpful.

  • Face the person speaking to you to assist with lip reading.

  • Watch cues such as hand gestures and facial expressions of person talking to you.

  • Decrease, or if possible, avoid background noise.

  • Ask your caregiver if hearing aids are appropriate to help with your type of hearing loss.

  • Local civic and community groups may have means for financial help in obtaining hearing aids if they aren't covered by your health insurance.

  • If you have hearing aids, do not wear them in the shower or while swimming.

  • Keep hearing aids dry, clean, and away from chemicals, including hair care products.