Children’s laughter. A favorite tune. Birds singing. There are various lovely sounds to enjoy everywhere, so it’s important to take good care of the awesome gift of hearing. As we grow older, our ability to hear clearly can diminish, but there are measures we can take to keep our hearing as healthy as possible for many years.
How Can Seniors Improve Hearing?
Follow these steps to protect the ability to hear for older loved ones:
- Schedule routine hearing tests. Just like you need yearly physicals and eye exams, include getting your hearing tested on a regular basis. This is often as easy as replying to questions during a regular checkup with the primary care physician, followed by a hearing test and additional treatment if called for.
- Keep ears clear of excess wax. As we get older, the wax that protects our ear canal becomes drier and harder, which can impede hearing. To prevent harm to the ear or to keep from moving wax deeper into the ear canal, you should never place anything smaller than your elbow into the ear. The doctor can safely clean out excess wax.
- Check meds. Some medications, such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, and loop diuretics, may cause short-term and sometimes even permanent balance disorders, tinnitus, or hearing loss. In addition, chronic conditions like heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, and others increase the risk for hearing loss. Talk with the doctor to learn more.
- Wear protection. Well before any hearing damage is noticed, loud sounds like those at sporting events, concerts, or from loud equipment like a leaf blower, can harm as much as 50% of the hair cells within the inner ear. These hair cells are key to the ability to hear, so safeguarding them is extremely important. Always use hearing protection in situations where excessive noise is present.
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 these devices much more affordable. Regardless if the hearing aids are purchased over the counter or from an audiologist, it’s important to understand how to take care of these devices so they can 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 standard lifespan of hearing aids is five to seven years, although with proper upkeep and care, they could last as long as ten years or even more.
In-Home Care Can Help!
- Transportation to medical appointments and procedures, including hearing screenings
- Preparing nutritious meals
- Medication reminders
- Grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, and running other errands as needed
- Personal care
- Light housekeeping
- And more
Call us at 618-667-8400 to find out more about the advantages of in-home care for a person with hearing issues or any other condition requiring support to continue living safely and independently in the home.