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Tinnitus and Your Elderly Loved One

February 25th, 2016

Senior Care in Jupiter FL

Senior Care in Jupiter FLThat ringing or buzzing that you may have experienced after a loud event is called tinnitus and some people have that kind of underlying sound all the time. It can be really frustrating, especially if your elderly loved one has other hearing problems and feels like all he can hear is the ringing or the buzzing.
What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is that phantom ringing or buzzing that your loved one experiences, even in the absence of other noise. In some cases, it's so loud that your loved one can't hear anything but the buzzing or the ringing. Tinnitus itself isn't harmful, but it can be part of an underlying health problem, so it's important to mention it to your loved one's doctor if he's experiencing the symptoms. Your loved one might have symptoms in both ears or only in one ear.
Causes of Tinnitus

Sometimes, there's no verifiable cause for tinnitus, which makes it difficult for your loved one's doctor to treat the problem. One of the most common causes is damage to the inner ears. Hearing loss, particularly age-related hearing loss, tends to occur along with tinnitus, but this isn't the only cause. Damage to the ears from loud noises in years past, ears clogged from earwax, or even changes to the bones inside the ears can all contribute to tinnitus. Other causes include underlying health conditions such as:

  • Head or neck injuries
  • Atherosclerosis
  • High blood pressure

Your loved one might also be taking a medication that can have tinnitus as a side effect. As you can see, there are so many potential causes that it's important to have your loved one's doctor involved from the start.
Treating Tinnitus

Treating tinnitus really involves figuring out what is causing it for your elderly loved one. If the cause is something simple, such as a buildup of earwax, then the treatment is as fast and easy as removing the excess wax. If your loved one is dealing with tinnitus due to an underlying health condition that is more complex, though, the solution may take much longer and be more complicated.
Coping with Tinnitus

Depending on whether or not your loved one's tinnitus symptoms can be completely reversed, you may need to help him live with it. In some cases, white noise machines can help quite a bit. These help to make the tinnitus less noticeable. If the tinnitus is really severe, your loved one may want to join support groups to talk with other people who are experiencing the same thing. You can also ask your loved one's senior care providers what they've found useful when helping other elderly loved one's with tinnitus.

Dealing with the noise of tinnitus doesn't have to keep your loved one from doing the things that he loves.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Jupiter FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.

Topics: Senior Care