Birds singing. Children laughing. Your favorite song. There are many lovely sounds to enjoy all around us, so it’s crucial to take care of the amazing gift of hearing. As we get older, our ability to hear clearly can diminish, but there are measures we can take to keep ears healthy for many years to come.
How Can Seniors Enhance Hearing?
Follow these steps to keep ears healthy and optimize hearing for older loved ones:
- Schedule regular hearing examinations. In the same way you need annual physicals and eye exams, include having your hearing tested on a regular basis. This can be as simple as responding to questions during a typical checkup with the primary care physician, followed by a hearing test and additional treatment if required.
- Keep ears clear of excess wax. As we grow older, the wax that protects our ear canal becomes drier and harder, which may affect hearing. To prevent damage to the ear or to keep from pushing wax deeper into the ear canal, you should never place anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. The physician can properly clean out extra wax.
- Check meds. Certain medications, like loop diuretics, antibiotics, and chemotherapy, could cause temporary and even long-term balance disorders, tinnitus, or hearing loss. Additionally, chronic conditions like heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, and others raise the risk for hearing loss. Talk with the physician to learn more.
- Wear protection. Well before any hearing impairment is detected, loud noises such as those at sporting events, concerts, or from loud equipment like a leaf blower, may damage up to 50% of the hair cells within the inner ear. These hair cells are key to our ability to hear, so protecting them is a must. Always use hearing protection in excessive noise situations.
What About Hearing Aids?
Hearing deterioration can often 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 obtained over the counter or not, it’s important to understand how to care for these devices to allow them to provide the maximum benefit. Audiologist Viral Tejani of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine points out, “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, but with proper upkeep and care, they could last as long as a decade or even more.
In-Home Care Can Help!
The senior care team at Hearts at Home In-Home Care is at your disposal to help older adults live their healthiest possible lives, through services such as:
- Transportation to medical appointments and procedures, such as hearing screenings
- Planning and preparing meals
- Medication reminders
- Grocery shopping, picking up medications, and running other errands as required
- Personal care
- Light housekeeping
- Plus much more
Give us a call at 913-440-4209 to find out more about the advantages of in-home care for someone with hearing damage or any other condition requiring support to keep living safely and independently in the home.