Hearing impairment is common among seniors, but there are steps they can take to potentially preserve their hearing. Here are some tips to help your senior loved one prevent damage to the ears, brought to you by the Caledon at-home care experts at Home Care Assistance.
Use Hearing Aids Regularly
If your loved one wears a hearing aid, using it properly can help preserve his or her hearing. This includes keeping the aid on during all waking hours, aside from activities involving water. Though hearing aids cannot restore normal ear functioning, wearing them can help your loved one maximize his or her current hearing abilities.
Beware of Ototoxic Medications
Many seniors take medicine on a regular basis, and some may experience damage to their ears because of certain ototoxic medicines. Some examples of these medications are:
- Diuretics – For treating heart failure and high blood pressure
- Cisplatin and bleomycin – For treating cancer
- Gentamicin and streptomycin – For treating kidney disease
These ototoxic medicines can cause seniors to lose their hearing quickly, which is why your loved one should consult with a doctor if he or she is taking two of these medicines at the same time. Look out for any new symptoms associated with hearing loss, and speak with your loved one’s doctor immediately if any develop. Also ask the doctor if he or she can prescribe alternative medications that are less likely to damage your loved one’s hearing.
Address Medical Issues
Hearing loss is associated with many diseases seniors are susceptible to, such as dementia, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. If your loved one has any of the symptoms associated with these diseases, have his or her hearing checked immediately to prevent damage to the ears. Receiving treatment for the diseases may help preserve his or her hearing.
If your loved one smokes, he or she will be at a higher risk of hearing loss. Some of the chemicals in cigarettes, such as arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, and nicotine, can cause hearing impairment. If your loved one is exposed to smoke for 10 hours a week or more, he or she has a higher chance of developing hearing loss. Make sure he or she doesn’t smoke and avoids secondhand smoke as well.
Living independently can be easier for seniors who preserve their hearing. If hearing loss has made it difficult for your loved one to perform certain daily activities, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can help with many important tasks, and we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care for Caledon seniors who need more extensive assistance. For more information and to request a complimentary consultation, please call one of our friendly Care Managers at 905-951-8885.