presbycusis, presbyacusisProgressive loss of hearing for the higher frequencies that occurs with age. Presbyacusis is an age-related sensorineural type of deafness probably caused by several factors including acoustic trauma. Pathology includes hair cell loss, ganglion cell loss, cochlear strial atrophy, stiffness of the basilar membrane and central degeneration. Forty percent of the population over 65 has a hearing loss great enough to impair communication, and untreated presbycusis contributes to isolation, depression and possibly dementia. Digital technology, directional microphones and noise suppression methods have greatly improved hearing aid function and usefulness. From the Greek presbys , an old man, and akousis , hearing.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005