gleeful senior woman wearing headphones

Your favorite song. Birds singing. Children laughing. There are numerous breathtaking sounds to enjoy everywhere, so it’s vital to take good care of the wonderful gift of hearing. Growing older changes the ability to hear clearly, but there are steps we can take to ensure healthy hearing for seniors.

How Can Seniors Enhance Hearing?

Adopt these measures to increase hearing for older loved ones:

  • Schedule regular hearing tests. Just as you should have annual eye exams and physicals, include having your hearing tested on a regular basis. This can be as simple as giving answers to questions during a typical medical checkup with the primary care physician, followed by a hearing test and further treatment if needed.
  • Keep ears clear of excessive wax. As we get older, the wax that guards our ear canal can turn harder and drier, which often can impair hearing. To prevent injury to the ear or to keep from pushing wax further into the ear canal, you shouldn’t place anything smaller than your elbow into your ear. The doctor can properly clean out accumulated wax.
  • Check meds. A few medications, such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, and loop diuretics, can cause short-term and even permanent balance disorders, tinnitus, or hearing loss. In addition, chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and others raise the risk for hearing loss. Consult with a doctor for additional information.
  • Wear protection. Even before any hearing impairment is detected, loud sounds such as those at sporting events, concerts, or from noisy equipment like a leaf blower, could damage up to 50% of the hair cells within the inner ear. These hair cells are key to the ability to hear, so safeguarding them is a must. Always use hearing protection in excessive noise situations.

How About Hearing Aids?

Hearing issues can often be helped with 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 just 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 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 average lifespan of hearing aids is five to seven years, although with proper maintenance and care, they can last as long as a decade or more.

Home Care Can Help!

The in-home care team at Anthem Home Care is readily available to help older loved ones 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
  • Companionship
  • Light housekeeping
  • And a lot more

Contact us at 361-643-2323 for more information about the advantages of home care for a loved one with hearing impairment or other condition requiring support to continue living safely and independently at home.