Your favorite song. Birds singing. Children laughing. There are so many pleasant sounds to enjoy all around us, so it’s critical to take good care of the awesome gift of hearing. As we grow older, our capacity to hear clearly can be affected, but there are some helpful tips for how to keep hearing healthy that we can implement today to improve hearing for years to come.
How Can Seniors Enhance Hearing?
Take these steps to maximize hearing for older loved ones:
- Schedule regular hearing examinations. Just as you need annual physicals and eye exams, include having your hearing examined on a routine basis. This could be as easy as giving answers to questions during a regular medical checkup with the primary care physician, followed by a hearing test and further treatment if warranted.
- Keep ears free of excessive wax. As we get older, the wax that covers our ear canal becomes harder and drier, which may impede our hearing. In order to prevent damage to the ear or to keep from pushing wax deeper into the ear canal, you shouldn’t place anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. The physician can safely clear out extra wax that has accumulated.
- Check meds. Some medicines, such as loop diuretics, antibiotics, and chemotherapy, may cause temporary and even long-term tinnitus, hearing loss, or balance disorders. Additionally, chronic conditions like heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, and others raise the risk for hearing loss. Consult with a healthcare provider to find out more.
- Wear protection. Well before any hearing impairment is noticed, loud sounds like those at concerts, sporting events, or from noisy equipment like a lawn mower, could damage as much as 50% of the hair cells in the inner ear. These hair cells are fundamental to our ability to hear, so safeguarding them is vital. Always use hearing protection in excessive noise situations.
What About Hearing Aids?
Hearing issues can frequently be helped with the use of hearing aids, which have recently become available over the counter, making the devices much more accessible and affordable. Regardless if the hearing aids are obtained over the counter or from an audiologist, it’s important to know just how to take care of these devices to allow them to continue provide the maximum benefit. Audiologist Viral Tejani of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine says, “Hearing aids are essentially miniature electronics. Keep them protected from the elements such as rain and dust and keep them out of reach from prying hands of children or prying paws of dogs.”
The average lifespan of hearing aids is five to seven years, though with proper upkeep and care, they can last as much as ten years or more.
Home Care Can Help!
- Transportation to procedures and medical appointments, such as hearing screenings
- Planning and preparing meals
- Medication reminders
- Grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, and running other errands as needed
- Personal care
- Light housekeeping
- Plus much more
Need more information on how to keep hearing healthy? Get in touch with us at 410-756-0959 to find out more about the advantages of senior care for someone with hearing impairment or any other condition requiring support to continue living safely and independently at home.