Top 6 Causes of Senior Ear Infections

6 Common Reasons Adults Get Ear Infections

By Will Reid, 9:00 am on

The short pathway between the sinus passages and the Eustachian tubes is one of the main reasons why ear infections are commonly seen in young children. However, adults also come down with ear infections from time to time. Some of the most common causes of ear infections include the six below.

1. Smoking

Smokers and adults exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher incidence of upper respiratory problems. Once affected sinuses fill with fluid, swollen and irritated, the fluid travels to the inner ear. The warm, moist environment encourages microbial growth and subsequent infection. Smokers in your loved one’s home should consider quitting, otherwise at-home caregivers in Cincinnati, OH, should limit smoking to outside the house.

2. Cold and Flu Season

The viruses that cause colds or the flu commonly gain access through nasal or oral passages. Congestion can quickly travel to one or both ears. Adults then suffer ear infections from the virus or a secondary infection from bacterial invasion. Decongestants prevent fluid and microbes from entering the ears.

3. Allergies

Adults who experience indoor or outdoor allergies are all too familiar with the sinus irritation. Congestion and tissue irritation may travel to the ears, which again can lead to an infectious process. Taking allergy medications routinely typically prevents symptoms from causing ear infections.

4. Swimmer’s Ear

Fluid that remains in the outer ear canal from bathing or swimming also encourages microbial growth. The chances of developing this type of infection increase when spending time in natural bodies of water where various microbes thrive. Cotton balls in the ears help deter the problem during bathing. Live-in caregivers in Cincinnati, OH, might encourage seniors to wear earplugs while swimming. 

5. Impaired Immune Systems

As adults age, it is common for the immune system to weaken, which leaves seniors more susceptible to infection. Cancer, cancer treatments and immunosuppressive medications put seniors at an even greater risk of developing these infections.

6. Anatomical Abnormalities

Enlarged adenoids, Eustachian tube or nasal passage deformities can all contribute to the development of ear infections in adults. This is because these abnormalities typically encourage fluid migration to the middle ear or block fluid drainage.

Prevent ear and other infections among seniors with help from a trusted Cincinnati elder care agency like Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of live-in and hourly home care that customizes care programs to meet the individual needs of our clients. In addition to encouraging senior wellness, our expertly trained caregivers also help seniors with household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Learn more by calling a trusted Care Manager at 513.891.2273 today and schedule a complimentary consultation.

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