Your favorite song. Birds singing. Children laughing. There are countless pleasant sounds to enjoy everywhere, so it’s critical to take good care of the extraordinary gift of hearing. As we age, our capacity to hear clearly can transform, but there are actions we can take to improve senior hearing and keep our hearing as healthy as possible for a lifetime.
How Can Older Adults Improve Hearing?
Adopt these measures to enhance hearing for older adults:
- Schedule regular hearing tests. Just as you should schedule yearly eye exams and physicals, include getting your hearing tested on a regular basis. This can be as basic as answering questions during a regular physical with your doctor, followed by a hearing test and further treatment if required.
- Keep ears clean of excessive wax. As we grow older, the wax that offers protection to our ear canal becomes drier and harder, which can damage hearing. In order to prevent damage to the ear or to keep from pushing the wax deeper into the ear canal, you shouldn’t place anything smaller than your elbow into the ear. The doctor can properly clean out any accumulated wax.
- Check meds. A few medicines, such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, and loop diuretics, can result in short-term and even permanent tinnitus, hearing loss, or balance disorders. Furthermore, chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and others boost the risk for hearing loss. Talk with a healthcare provider to learn more.
- Wear protection. Even before any hearing impairment is discovered, loud sounds such as those at sporting events, concerts, or from noisy equipment like a leaf blower, could harm as much as 50% of the hair cells in the inner ear. These hair cells are key to your ability to hear, so protecting them is crucial. Always use hearing protection in excessive noise situations.
How About Hearing Aids?
Hearing impairment 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 obtained over the counter or through an audiologist, it’s important to know just how to care for these devices so they can continue to 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 typical lifespan of hearing aids is five to seven years, but with proper maintenance and care, they can last as long as a decade or more.
Home Care Can Help!
The home care team at At-Home Care Company is on hand to help seniors live their healthiest possible lives, through services such as:
- Transportation to medical appointments and procedures, such as hearing screenings
- Preparing nutritious meals
- Medication reminders
- Trips to get groceries, pick up medications, and run other errands as needed
- Personal care
- Light housekeeping
- And more
Give us a call at 515-292-2650 to find out more about the benefits of home care for a person with hearing issues or any other condition requiring support to continue living safely and independently in the home.