Children’s laughter. A favorite tune. Birds singing. There are so many lovely sounds to enjoy all around us, so it’s vital to take care of the incredible gift of hearing. As we grow older, our capacity to hear clearly can change, but there are steps we can take to maximize our hearing and ear health for a lifetime.
How Can Seniors Enhance Hearing?
Adopt these measures to improve ear health and optimize hearing for older loved ones:
- Schedule routine hearing screenings. Just as you should have yearly physicals and eye exams, include getting your hearing checked on a regular basis. This can be as simple as giving answers to questions during a regular medical checkup with the primary care physician, followed by a hearing test and additional treatment if called for.
- Keep ears free of excess wax. As we grow older, the wax that provides protection to our ear canal becomes harder and drier, which often can impede hearing. To prevent harm 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 doctor can safely clear out extra wax.
- Check meds. A few mediations, such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, and loop diuretics, can cause short-term if not permanent hearing loss, balance disorders, or tinnitus. Furthermore, chronic conditions like sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, and others increase the risk for hearing loss. Talk to the physician to find out more.
- Wear protection. Even before any hearing damage is discovered, loud sounds like those at sporting events, concerts, or from noisy equipment like a lawn mower, can damage up to 50% of the hair cells in the inner ear. These hair cells are key to the ability to hear, so safeguarding them is crucial. Always use hearing protection in excessive noise situations.
How About Hearing Aids?
Hearing damage can often be helped with the use of hearing aids, which have recently become available over the counter, making these devices much more affordable and attainable. Regardless if the hearing aids are obtained over the counter or from an audiologist, it’s important to learn how to take care of these devices so that they continue to provide the maximum benefit. Audiologist Viral Tejani of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine explains, “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, though with proper maintenance and care, they could last as long as a decade or even more.
In-Home Care Can Help!
- Transportation to procedures and medical appointments, such as hearing screenings
- Preparing nutritious meals
- Medication reminders
- Grocery shopping, picking up medications, and running other errands as needed
- Personal care
- Light housekeeping
- And even more
Contact us at 847-787-7572 to find out more about the advantages of home care for somebody with hearing issues or any other condition requiring support to keep living safely and independently in the home.