European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 267, Issue 8, pp 1179–1191 | Cite as

Age-related hearing loss or presbycusis

  • Qi Huang
  • Jianguo TangEmail author
Review Article


Aging is a natural consequence of a society developing process. Although many adults retain good hearing as they aging, hearing loss related with age–presbycusis which can vary in severity from mild to substantial is common among elderly persons. There are a number of pathophysiological processes underlying age-related changes in the auditory system as well as in the central nervous systems. Many studies have been dedicated to the illustration of risk factors accumulating presbycusis such as heritability, environment factors, medical conditions, free radical (reactive oxygen species, ROS) and damage of mitochondrial DNA. Left untreated, presbycusis can not only lead sufferers to reduced quality of life, isolation, dependence and frustration, but also affect the healthy people around. These can be partly corrected using hearing aids, but it is not enough, more and more strategies of treatment based on the findings associating with presbycusis should be added rather than using single hearing aids. We review here the pathophysiology; heritability, susceptibility genes and other risk factors including environmental, medical, especially free radical (ROS) and damage of mitochondrial DNA; and some strategies of treatment, as well as promising rehabilitations associating with presbycusis.


Presbycusis Age-related hearing loss Pathophysiology Risk factors Prevention Treatment 



We thank Drs Antony Howarth, Vishakha Rawool and Arlene Jane Carson of any assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Sir Run Run Shaw HospitalMedical College of Zhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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