gleeful senior woman wearing headphones

Children’s laughter. A favorite tune. Birds singing. There are numerous breathtaking sounds to enjoy everywhere, so it’s crucial to take care of the wonderful gift of hearing. As we grow older, our ability to hear clearly can change, but there are steps we can take to help us have good hearing at any age.

How Can Seniors Improve Hearing?

Follow these steps to ensure good hearing at any age for older loved ones:

  • Schedule routine hearing screenings. Just like you should have yearly physicals and eye exams, include getting your hearing examined on a routine basis. This can be as simple as replying to questions during a regular checkup with the primary care physician, followed by a hearing test and further treatment if warranted.
  • Keep ears clear of excessive wax. As we grow older, the wax that provides protection to our ear canal becomes harder and drier, which may impede our hearing. To prevent damage 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. A doctor can properly clean out excess wax.
  • Check meds. Certain medicines, such as chemotherapy, loop diuretics, and antibiotics, may cause temporary and sometimes even long-term hearing loss, balance disorders, or tinnitus. Additionally, chronic conditions like sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, as well as others boost the risk for hearing loss. Talk with the physician for more information.
  • Wear protection. Even before any hearing impairment 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 fundamental to the ability to hear, so safeguarding them is vital. Always use hearing protection in situations where excessive noise is present.

What About Hearing Aids?

Hearing issues 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 not,  it’s important to learn how to take care of 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 average lifespan of hearing aids is five to seven years, but with proper maintenance and care, they could last as long as a decade or even more.

Home Care Can Help!

The home care experts at Grace Home Care are on hand to help seniors live their best possible lives, through services such as:

  • Transportation to medical appointments and procedures, like hearing screenings
  • Planning and preparing nutritious meals
  • Medication reminders
  • Grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, and running other errands as required
  • Personal care
  • Companionship and outings
  • Light housekeeping
  • Plus much more

Get in touch with us at 785-286-2273 to learn more about the advantages of home care for someone with hearing issues or any other condition requiring support to carry on living safely and independently in the home.