Hearing loss in seniors is a very common phenomenon. Knowing what causes hearing loss can sometimes be hard to pinpoint because there are many possible causes. A doctor or medical professional in skilled nursing care can help recognize the signs of hearing loss and formulate a solution. Some common causes of hearing loss in seniors include age-related deterioration and damage, exposure to loud noises, certain medications or medical conditions, and even genetics.
Seniors need to regularly check their hearing, as untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation, depression, falls and accidents, and difficulty communicating with others. Although hearing loss can impact a senior’s life, it doesn’t have to remove their independence. At Buckner Retirement Services, we provide personalized care focused on the needs of each senior. Call us today at 855.931.5688.
What Causes Hearing Loss in Seniors?
One of the seniors’ most common causes of hearing loss is simply getting older. Over years and years, the many components of the ear going through a lot of wear and tear. Even seniors who haven’t engaged in a profession, sport, or hobby that is particularly hard on the ear can experience hearing loss from aging. When aging is the cause of hearing loss, it can be difficult to remedy through treatment. Usually, a better option is to explore a hearing enhancement method such as a hearing aid.
Damage to the Inner Ear
The inner ear is crucial to taking in sound from the world and translating it to the brain. Unfortunately, the inner ear is fragile and susceptible to damage throughout life. The inner ear is most commonly damaged by repeated exposure to loud noise. This can happen in a profession with loud noises, such as construction or manufacturing. It can also occur in seniors who were or are frequent concert attendees.
Another common reason for hearing loss in seniors is an ear infection. A hearing infection inflames the ear and can cause blockage and buildup that impacts hearing. Signs of an ear infection include:
- Ear pain
- Ear irritation
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of balance
- Muffled hearing
Seniors do not always take action when they are experiencing a bit of discomfort in their ears. It is essential to be aware of the signs as a caregiver so that you can encourage treatment when necessary. The good news is ear infections are easy to diagnose and highly treatable. With medication, ear infections often clear relatively quickly, and hearing is usually restored to normal.
Abnormal Bone Growths
The ear has several tiny bones that are all located in a very specific place to support hearing and ear health. Sometimes later in life, these bones can move out of place or start to grow abnormally. Abnormal bone growth can lead to blockage or disrupt the function of the inner ear. Sometimes abnormal bone growths can be resolved with surgery. In some cases, it is safer to leave the abnormal bone as is and explore other options for addressing hearing loss.
While not among the top causes of hearing loss in seniors, tumors are occasionally the culprit behind hearing issues. Tumors in or near the ear can cause disruptions to ear function, leading to hearing loss. Similar to bone growths, tumors can sometimes be removed, restoring hearing loss to normal levels. However, not all tumors can safely be operated on, in which case hearing loss will need to be addressed through another method.
Managing Hearing Loss in Seniors at Buckner Retirement Services
At Buckner Retirement Services, we focus on the health and well-being of each community member. We know the causes of hearing loss and how to recognize the signs early. Our staff makes every accommodation for seniors with hearing loss to maintain their quality of life and independence. We can work with you to create a care plan that addresses hearing loss and supports overall health and well-being in senior living. To learn more about the services and senior living communities at Buckner Retirement Services, contact us today at 855.931.5688.