Birds singing. Children laughing. Your favorite song. There are countless lovely sounds to enjoy all around us, so it’s important to take good care of the extraordinary gift of hearing. As we get older, our ability to hear clearly can change, but there are steps we can take to maintain hearing health for as long as possible.
How Can Seniors Enhance Hearing?
Follow these steps to improve hearing for older adults:
- Schedule routine hearing examinations. Just as you should schedule annual physicals and eye exams, include having your hearing checked on a routine basis. This could be as simple as answering questions during a regular checkup with the primary care physician, followed by a hearing test and further treatment if warranted.
- Keep ears clean of excessive wax. As we get older, the wax that offers protection to our ear canal can turn harder and drier, which can reduce hearing. To avoid injury to the ear or to keep from moving wax further into the ear canal, you shouldn’t place anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. The doctor can safely clean out excess wax.
- Check meds. Some medications, including chemotherapy, loop diuretics, and antibiotics, can result in short-term and sometimes even permanent hearing loss, balance disorders, or tinnitus. In addition, chronic conditions like sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, and others increase the risk for hearing loss. Consult with a doctor to learn more.
- Wear protection. Even before any hearing impairment is discovered, loud noises such as those at concerts, sporting events, or from noisy equipment like a leaf blower, can harm as much as 50% of the hair cells in the inner ear. These hair cells are key to the ability to hear, so safeguarding them is essential. Always use hearing protection in excessive noise situations.
How About Hearing Aids?
Hearing deterioration can frequently be helped with the use of hearing aids, which have recently become available over the counter, making these devices more affordable. Regardless if the hearing aids are purchased over the counter or from an audiologist, it’s important to learn how to care for these devices to allow them to continue 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 typical lifespan of hearing aids is five to seven years, but with proper upkeep and care, they can last as long as a decade or more.
Home Care Can Help!
The senior care experts at Absolute Companion Care are at your disposal to help older adults live their best 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 needed
- Personal care
- Light housekeeping
- And much more
Contact us at 410-357-9640 to find out more about the benefits of home care for someone with hearing damage or any other condition requiring support to continue living safely and independently at home.