Presbycusis and Macular Degeneration: Diagnosis and Treatment

As people age, many of them experience unpleasant changes in hearing and vision, which makes their everyday lives more challenging. Some of these changes are defined as presbycusis and macular degeneration. To begin with, there are numerous signs and symptoms of presbycusis, also known as age-related hearing loss, and some of them can either vary from person to person or even seem like other health issues. If others’ speech sounds are slurred and mumbled, or elderly people cannot hear high-pitched sounds and understand conversations, they are likely to develop presbycusis. Additionally, symptoms include hearing men’s voices easier than women’s, perceiving some sounds as rather loud and annoying, and hearing a ringing sound in both or one ear. Diagnosis of the disease involves checking the outer ear canal and the eardrum with a lighted scope and having an audiogram. Treatment includes special prevention from too much wax forming the outer ear, hearing aids, assistive devices, and speech reading.

As for the symptoms of macular degeneration, which is an age-related eye disease that blurs central vision, they depend on the stage of this condition. According to the National Eye Institute (2021), early dry macular degeneration does not have any indications, while in the intermediate stage, some patients may notice trouble seeing in low lighting or mild blurriness in their central vision. Further, the later macular degeneration symptoms involve seeing straight lines as crooked and the appearance and further growth of a blurry area near the center of one’s vision. Colors also become less bright, and seeing in low lighting is not as easy as it was. Doctors usually perform a comprehensive dilated eye exam and sometimes an optical coherence tomography test to diagnose the condition. Special minerals and vitamins help prevent the condition from worsening. For patients with wet macular degeneration, which is the severest stage, there are special injections and laser treatments.

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