Age related hearing loss is when your hearing decreases as people get older.  It is also known as presbycusis. There are tiny hairs inside your ear.  These hairs help process sound to your brain.  Hearing loss occurs when these tiny hairs inside your ear are damaged or die. There is not a single cause for age related hearing loss.  The phenomenon mostly happens when the aging process causes changes to the inner ear as it grows.  Other factors can also play a role, like a lifetime of loud music, machine noise, or even genes. Age related hearing loss most commonly effects the high frequency range.  This can make it difficult to have conversations in places that have loud background noise, like a crowded restaurant.  Other symptoms include ringing in the ears, difficulty hearing women speak, and the sense that people are always mumbling when they speak to you. Age related hearing loss is permanent and you will never regain your hearing.  Hearing aids can help the situation a great deal.