6 Causes of Ear Infections in Elderly People

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Although ear infections are more common in children, they can also occur in adults. Children are more prone to developing ear infections due to the short path between their sinuses and Eustachian tubes. However, there are many different reasons seniors might develop ear infections. Following are the six most common causes of ear infections that caregivers should be mindful of. 

1. Allergies

Many adults experience allergic respiratory reactions during spring and winter. When the immune system encounters a substance it deems a threat, chemicals are released throughout the body that cause itching, sneezing, and congestion. If the symptoms aren’t alleviated, the fluid remains trapped in the middle ear and encourages bacterial growth. Anti-allergy medications can minimize these symptoms and reduce the risk of an ear infection.

2. Colds & Flu

Cold and flu viruses enter the body and cause a variety of upper and lower respiratory symptoms. Although in most cases the illnesses resolve on their own, some people may develop secondary ear, sinus, or lung infections. Healthcare providers advise that seniors receive annual flu shots to prevent any further complications.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

3. Ruptured Eardrum

In some instances, fluid and pressure buildup in the middle ear chamber may result in a ruptured eardrum. With the protective barrier breached, harmful microbes are free to enter the inner ear and cause an infection.

4. Smoking

Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and even campfires is a respiratory irritant. Chronic exposure to smoke can cause individuals to experience respiratory tissue swelling and fluid accumulation that leaks into the ears and becomes infected. Caregivers are advised to keep seniors away from these types of irritants to prevent this problem.

5. Weakened Immune System

Aging adults are more susceptible to many types of microbial illnesses because elderly immune systems become weaker with age. The inability to adequately fight common illnesses may lead to more serious symptoms that include middle ear infections. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding contact with people who are ill can prevent the problem.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Mississauga Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

6. Suppressed Immunity

Along with the natural loss of immune system strength, older adults undergoing chemotherapy for cancer or autoimmune conditions become more susceptible to illnesses. Under these circumstances, seniors must take extra precautions to avoid contracting illnesses by getting enough rest, eating well, and practising good hygiene. 

If you need help protecting your loved one from ear infections and other illnesses, a home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Mississauga, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. Call one of our Care Managers at 905-337-1200 to learn about our customized in-home care plans.


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