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The Long-Term Effects of Tinnitus on Seniors

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

Tinnitus is a perception of sound by an individual that cannot be heard externally by someone else. It is described as ringing in the ears, buzzing, roaring, hissing or in some cases a musical sound. These sounds can be continuous or intermittent with varying degrees of tone and volume. Tinnitus is not a condition itself but a symptom to an array of different conditions that can cause some serious implications for seniors.

Most Common Causes of Tinnitus 

  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Earwax blockage
  • Some medications

Ways Tinnitus Affects Seniors:

  • Social Isolation

Seniors are already at an increased risk for social isolation due to retirement, death, and limited mobility.  Tinnitus increases the risk of seniors being socially isolated due to their inability to socialize and communicate normally with others.  People affected by tinnitus may have a hard time hearing what others are saying, which in turn can cause them to appear rude or indifferent. Their families and friends may become irritable with the amount of effort they must put forth in order to communicate with the affected individual and may stop visiting the individual as frequently. In these instances, seniors benefit from comprehensive Lincoln elder care to prevent isolation.

  • Sleep Problems

Sleep deprivation is a common problem among seniors. Sleep deprivation can occur in aging adults due to pain, frequent urination, health issues, medications, anxiety and concerns about aging. Tinnitus often exacerbates this problem. A loud ringing in the ears can make it very hard to fall back asleep after a senior has been awakened for one of the above problems. Sleep deprivation will further enhance the other effects tinnitus has on seniors.

  • Anxiety

Tinnitus further increases anxiety that seniors may already experience. Seniors are reported to have anxiety disorders related to traumatic events, such as falls while living alone. The inability to understand everything that is being said due to tinnitus will also cause a general increase in anxiety.

  • Trouble Concentrating 

Seniors who cannot completely hear what another person is saying will not be able to adequately interpret what is being said. Seniors experiencing tinnitus have a difficult time concentrating due to the annoying sound they have no control over. This poses a big safety risk when seniors are unable to interpret what their doctors and pharmacists are saying. 

A tinnitus diagnosis can cause numerous complications for your loved one around the house. Give your loved one the help he or she needs by reaching out to Home Care Assistance of Lincoln. As a trusted provider of both live-in and hourly home care in Lincoln, we are dedicated to helping seniors with disabilities age in place with confidence and dignity. Our highly trained and capable caregivers help seniors with various activities of daily living including housekeeping, personal care, and running errands. Contact us today at (402) 261-5158 to learn more about our services and schedule a no-obligation consultation.