When you think of aging, you probably think of hearing loss as being one of the major changes that occurs. While it is true that many elderly adults deal with hearing loss as they age, the reasons for this change in their hearing may be the result of things that happened in their environment.
The 7 Most Common Causes of Hearing Loss
Below are some of the most common reasons behind your elderly loved one’s inability to hear well.
1. Long-Term Exposure to Loud Noises
Did the elder work around loud noises for many years before retiring? If the answer is yes, this could be the reason your loved one is hard of hearing today.
2. Head Injuries
If the elder has endured a severe head injury in the past, their middle-ear bones may have become dislocated or they could have suffered from nerve damage. While most middle-ear damage can heal after a few weeks, surgery may be required for severe cases. If the elder uses cotton swabs, they may also be at risk for hearing loss because sticking anything in your ear is a problem for the eardrum.
The side effect of some medications is hearing loss. This includes some antibiotics and cancer medications. Although the senior’s hearing is often monitored during these treatments, they may still suffer from permanent hearing loss. Regularly using aspirin, acetaminophen, or NSAIDs could also increase their chances of hearing loss.
4. Chronic Diseases
Some chronic health problems could lead to hearing loss because they disrupt blood flow to the inner ear or brain. Stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all chronic diseases that could cause hearing loss to occur.
Both noncancerous and cancerous growths could block the ear canal, making it difficult for the elder to hear. Fortunately, removing the growth may be all the elder needs to do to hear again. By not treating this problem, the elder may suffer from dizziness, inability to balance, numbness in the face, and tinnitus.
6. Explosive Sounds
If your aging parent ever spent time in the army, chances are they were in the presence of bombs or other explosives. The repetition of these loud sounds could cause hearing loss. These loud noises can cause the eardrum to rupture or damage the inner ear.
Your elderly loved one may think they are saving their hearing by using headphones, but it could actually make their hearing worse if the volume is cranked up. The result could be temporary or permanent. Encourage the elder to keep the volume low to prevent this from happening.
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