Children’s laughter. A favorite tune. Birds singing. There are infinite lovely sounds to enjoy everywhere, so it’s crucial to take care of the amazing gift of hearing. As we grow older, our ability to hear clearly can change, but there are steps we can take to maintain healthy hearing for many years.
How Can Seniors Improve Hearing?
Adopt these measures to increase hearing for older loved ones:
- Schedule routine hearing examinations. Just as you need annual physicals and eye exams, include having your hearing checked on a regular basis. This could be as simple as answering questions during a regular checkup with your doctor, followed by a hearing test and additional treatment if warranted.
- Keep ears clear of excessive wax. As we age, the wax that provides protection to our ear canal becomes harder and drier, which can reduce hearing. In order to prevent injury to the ear or to keep from moving wax further into the ear canal, you should never place anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. The physician can properly clear out accumulated wax.
- Check meds. Some medicines, such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, and loop diuretics, may cause temporary and even long-term tinnitus, hearing loss, or balance disorders. In addition, chronic conditions like sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, and others increase the risk for hearing loss. Talk with a doctor to learn more.
- Wear protection. Well before any hearing damage is noticed, loud noises like those at concerts, sporting events, or from noisy equipment like a leaf blower, can damage as much as 50% of the hair cells in the inner ear. These hair cells are fundamental to our ability to hear, so protecting them is extremely important. Always use hearing protection in excessive noise situations.
What About Hearing Aids?
Hearing impairment can frequently be helped with making 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 so that they can 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 upkeep and care, they can last around a decade or even more.
Home Care Can Help!
Abby Senior Care is on hand to help older adults live their best 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 prescriptions, and run other errands as required
- Personal care
- Light housekeeping
- And many other things