Unfortunately, hearing loss and aging often go hand in hand. Studies have found that almost 33 of Americans age 65-74 suffer from hearing problems ranging from missing certain words in a conversation to being completely deaf. Over the age of 85, the numbers go up to 50.It’s not known exactly what causes age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis. It sometimes develops from sensorineural hearing loss, which results from inner ear, auditory nerve, or brain pathway damage. Avoiding exposure to loud noises (for any length of time) and certain prescription drugs can lower your risk, but other factorsincluding heredity, high blood pressure, and aging itselfare sometimes unavoidable. Tinnitus the ringing in the ears that sometimes comes along with hearing lossis also mysterious, but it can be avoided by refraining from smoking, alcohol, and other loud noises.There are options, though. The first step is determining the level of hearing loss. If you ever start noticing difficulty following conversations, hearing the TV, speaking on the phone, or experience similar issues, you can go directly to your doctor with your concerns. Most likely, they’ll refer you to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) or audiologist (professional trained to measure hearing). By a variety of easy and painless tests, these professionals can direct you toward the right solution for you.In many cases, a hearing aid can be used to alleviate the effects of hearing loss. Miracle-Ear is one dispenser which offers the ability to schedule a free hearing test on their website. Their aids come in a variety of styles, from the classic “behind-the-ear” to the larger “comfort” styles and the almost invisible “cosmetic” styles. If you are suffering or know someone who is suffering from hearing loss, don’t let them continue on in silence. Look into a hearing aid or other assistance today.