Pittsburgh / Allison Park Senior Care Blog

Does Your Aging Family Member Have Tinnitus?

By Erin Carll

Have you ever heard an older adult complain about a ringing noise? If so, they may be one of many people who suffer from tinnitus. Tinnitus isn’t a disease itself, but is a symptom of another problem, like age-related hearing loss or an injury to the ear. It can also be caused by a problem with circulation.

Tinnitus Symptoms

Tinnitus causes a perception of noise when there is no external source of the sound. A person with tinnitus may hear:

  • Ringing.
  • Buzzing.
  • Hissing.
  • Roaring.
  • Clicking.
  • Whistling.
  • Swooshing.

In some cases, people even report hearing music. The sound can be loud or soft. It can also be low-pitched or high. The sound may occur in both ears or just one. It may also occur constantly, or happen only occasionally. For some people, tinnitus is so severe that it makes hearing other sounds difficult or interferes with their concentration.

Causes of Tinnitus

There are several things that can cause tinnitus, such as:

  • Ear Damage: Tinnitus is commonly caused by damage to the inner ear. When the tiny hairs in the ear that transmit sound become broken or bent, they can cause tinnitus.
  • Hearing Loss: Age-related hearing loss, called presbycusis, is another common cause of tinnitus. Presbycusis usually starts at the age of 60 or later.
  • Medications: Many kinds of medications can have tinnitus as a side effect. Some medications that may cause tinnitus are antibiotics, medications used to treat cancer, water pills, and some antidepressants.
  • Circulatory Problems: Some conditions of the circulatory system, like high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, can cause tinnitus.
  • Head or Neck Injuries: If your aging family member has suffered an injury to the neck or head, it may cause injury to the inner ear or parts of the brain involved in hearing, which can lead to tinnitus. When a head or neck injury is the cause, tinnitus usually occurs in only one ear.

If an older adult family member is affected by tinnitus due to hearing loss or a circulatory problem, a senior care provider can help. Senior care providers can assist older adults with caring for and adjusting their hearing aids. For those with circulatory problems, a senior care provider can remind them to take their medications. Senior care providers can also help your aging family member to maintain better overall health by cooking healthy meals, encouraging them to remain physically active, and assisting with personal care.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Valencia, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.