As we age, many of our senses naturally deteriorate. The advances of medical science mean that we can counter this loss with innovation such as contact lenses, or even laser surgery, to help our eyesight remain sharp, or the use of small, highly-discreet hearing aids to ensure we catch everything being said.

However, no matter how inventive these devices are, we cannot halt the onset of old age. Happily there are many things that we can do to help keep us in fine working order during our senior living years.

Let's take a look at hearing – it's one of our senses that we perhaps most take for granted, but the notion of living in a world of silence does not have to become a reality in today's world. Take a look at just what happens to our hearing as we age:

Hearing loss among Australians is surprisingly common, especially among the older generation. Indeed, according to a report published by Australian Hearing, six in 10 people aged 60 years and above have some form of hearing loss, a figure rising to seven in 10 for those 70 years and older – and men are at a greater risk than women.

Age-related hearing loss is a condition known as presbycusis, and, unlike other ageing issues, it still isn't fully understood by medical professionals. What is known, however, is that it is thought to be hereditary, its severity thought to be linked to a lifetime of exposure to loud volumes – also known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

NIHL doesn't just affect the elderly – it can occur in many of us that spend, or have spent, excessive amounts of time in loud environments. This can include nightclubs, construction sites, and theatres of war. Luckily, there are a number of ways that this loss can be recovered, such as through hearing aids or cochlear implants – speak to your doctor if you're concerned about your hearing ability.

FAQ: What happens to our hearing as we age?