Top Causes of Hearing Loss in Aging Adults

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Causes of Hearing Loss in Aging Adults in Des Moines, IA

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately one out of every three people 65 and older have some degree of hearing loss. Because hearing loss can make it more difficult for seniors to communicate and live happy and healthy lives, it’s important to know its most common causes and ways to help your aging loved one address the condition.


Presbycusis is sometimes referred to as age-related hearing loss. A senior with presbycusis may have difficulty distinguishing certain sounds or be unable to tolerate loud noises. The condition usually develops gradually and can be caused by heredity, certain prescription medications, circulatory problems, and years of exposure to loud noises. Your loved one should be cautious when taking medications that can affect hearing, and he or she should also work with a doctor to address health conditions that can lead to hearing loss. Seniors with family histories of hearing loss should visit audiologists regularly to monitor for any changes in their hearing. If your loved one is experiencing hearing loss and could use some extra help at home to remain safe and comfortable, a home caregiver may be the ideal option. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Des Moines seniors can depend on.


A roaring or ringing in the ears is also known as tinnitus, which can lead to permanent damage in the sound-sensitive cells of the cochlea. The condition is often caused by medications and certain health conditions, such as allergies and blood vessel complications. There are medications that can make the tinnitus less noticeable, and music or white noise machines may also mask the ringing. Seniors with tinnitus should also avoid loud noises, smoking, and alcohol because these can make the condition worse.   Aging adults may need additional support to prevent hearing loss. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when something blocks the transmission of sound to the inner ear. A common cause of conductive hearing loss in elderly people is the buildup of earwax. Ear canals produce a waxy oil that traps dust, microorganisms, and foreign particles, preventing them from entering the ears and damaging them. Earwax also protects the fragile skin of the ear canal from irritation by water. Normally, earwax works its way to the opening of the ear canal, where it falls out or is removed by washing. However, in the elderly, the outer part of the ear canal thins, and earwax becomes drier and harder. The wax can accumulate and become impacted, causing temporary hearing loss. Hearing aids can also cause wax blockage. Most cases of hearing loss in seniors are caused by impacted wax. Using cotton swabs to clean the ears can also push it deeper inside.  Signs of impacted wax include muffled sounds, tinnitus, a feeling of fullness in the ears, and earaches. If a clog isn’t alleviated, infection can develop. Red flags for infection are drainage, severe pain, a foul odor, coughing, fever, and dizziness. The safest means of removing impacted earwax is to visit a doctor, who can either irrigate your loved one’s ears or vacuum them to clear out the ear canals. If hearing loss has made it difficult for your loved one to accomplish certain daily activities, consider hiring a home caregiver to help. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care service. Des Moines families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438.


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