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7 Ways to Stave Off Hearing Loss in the Golden Years

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Many seniors experience gradual hearing loss as they age. While some hearing problems are inevitable, there are ways to minimize damage. Here are some of the ways seniors can prevent hearing loss. 

1. Maintain Good Ear Hygiene

Seniors who are prone to earwax buildup should pay special attention to their ear hygiene. Excessive earwax can cause blockage, which can affect hearing. Seniors should avoid using cotton swabs to clean their ears. If they suspect earwax is impeding their hearing, a doctor might recommend safe treatments such as an irrigation kit or ear drops. Seniors with limited dexterity may require some assistance with ear cleaning.

Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable non-medical in-home care. Fort Myers, FL, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

2. Invest in Hearing Protection

Loud noises can damage hearing. Seniors who are around loud sounds should consider purchasing protective gear. Wearing earplugs protects the ears by reducing noise by up to 30 decibels. Earmuffs are another effective solution. 

3. Use the Right Appliances

Seniors who are worried about noise-related hearing loss should use devices and appliances with low noise ratings. Appliances ranging from blenders to garbage disposals are available in reduced noise models. 

4. Quit Smoking

Smoking tightens the blood vessels throughout the body, which can impact the ears’ ability to translate sound vibrations into electrical impulses. Nicotine may also be responsible for damaging the neurotransmitters responsible for processing sound in the auditory nerve. 

Helping a loved one quit smoking can be a challenging task, especially without some assistance. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Fort Myers, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

5. Seek Treatment for Circulatory Ailments

Good hearing relies on the delicate parts of the inner ear, which work in coordination to process sounds. Circulation problems affect the ears’ ability to work effectively. Seniors with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions are at higher risk of hearing loss, and they should manage their conditions carefully to prevent future damage. 

6. Ask a Doctor About Prescriptions

Some drugs can have a negative impact on ear health, a side effect known as ototoxicity. There are about 200 medications that can damage hearing, including over-the-counter pain relievers and chemotherapy drugs. The first sign of damage is usually tinnitus, which causes ringing in the ears. The damage then progresses, affecting everything from balance to the ability to understand conversations. 

Sometimes the damage is reversed when the medication treatment stops, and sometimes it is permanent. Seniors who are worried about ototoxicity should talk to their doctors about different treatment options. 

7. Seek Regular Medical Treatment

Getting a regular hearing exam from a doctor is one of the best ways to prevent hearing loss. The doctor can catch signs of damage and prescribe ways to forestall future problems. Make sure your senior loved one frequently visits an ENT specialist.

According to modern research, older adults with hearing impairment are susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. Partial hearing loss may indicate the onset of memory loss or another type of cognitive decline. The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s home care. Fort Myers, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. To learn about our high-quality Alzheimer’s care plans, call us at 239.449.4701 today.