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Classification according to ICD-10
H91.1 Presbycusis, old age deafness
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

Presbyakusis ("old age hearing loss ", English presbycusis , also presbyacusis ) is a type of hearing loss that is caused by physiological aging processes and occurs from around the fifth to sixth decade of life. Typically it is a bilateral, symmetrical, increasing inner ear hearing loss at high frequencies.


The age-physiological and age-pathological degenerative processes in the organ of Corti associated with old-age hearing loss cannot be examined directly in a patient. Raising the hearing threshold, especially at high frequencies, which can be determined using a tone audiogram , is an important indicator of the presence of senile hearing loss . Another indication is the difficulty in understanding speech in ambient noises.

In diagnostics, it is very difficult to separate a pure age-related hearing loss and a hearing loss due to noise exposure. Even if you have accurate data on noise exposure, e.g. B. are known while working, the proportions cannot be precisely quantified.

The definition of what is defined as “otologically normal” or unimpaired hearing is also essential for diagnostics based on measurement results. The corresponding definition of the DIN EN ISO 7029 standard provides an indication of this.

Influencing factors

Lifelong exogenous and endogenous influences can have an influence on the development or severity of age-related hearing loss:

That a higher age not necessarily with deafness coincide must demonstrate scientific studies of ethnology: Thus, the hearing of older African pastors who were exposed to in their lifetime in their environment hardly high sound pressure levels, little sensitivity losses. Hearing impairment in old age can therefore also be traced back to an intensive environmental impact on hearing, and the term “senile hearing loss” is therefore rather undifferentiated and, strictly speaking, wrong. However, a more recent reanalysis of the historical data on the hearing ability of Sudanese shepherds raises doubts as to whether the hearing ability of this near-natural people is actually much better in old age.


At the moment, only hearing aids or hearing implants are considered as forms of therapy .

Drug treatment is not possible, but z. Sometimes various approaches are discussed, also to reduce the progression of the disease.

Research is looking for ways to find ways to regenerate the hair sensory cells. At the moment it is not foreseeable whether and when this will actually be possible.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b H. G. Boenninghaus, T. Lenarz: ENT: ear, nose and throat medicine. Springer, Berlin 2007, p. 107.
  2. How many people are hard of hearing? ( Memento of the original from January 31, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: Journal of Audiology / Audiological Acoustics. 2-2010, p. 61 ff, Median-Verlag von Killisch-Horn, Heidelberg (PDF; 241 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. DIN EN ISO 7029 Acoustics - Statistical distribution of hearing thresholds as a function of age; Date of issue: 2001-01, Beuth Verlag, Berlin.
  4. ^ S. Rosen, M. Bergmann, D. Plester: Presbyacusis study of a relatively noise-free population in the Sudan . 1962, PMID 13974856 .
  5. Eckhard Hoffmann: Hearing ability and hearing impairment in young adults . 1st edition. Median-Verlag, Heidelberg 1997, p. 8 ( online PDF).
  6. ^ B. Mazurek, T. Stöver, H. Haupt, J. Gross, A. Szczepek: The origin and treatment of Presbyakusis. In: ENT. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg, Volume 56, Number 4 / April 2008.
  7. ^ John V. Brigande, Stefan Heller: Quo vadis, hair cell regeneration? In: Nature Neuroscience . Vol 12, No. May 6, 2009.