Seniors often experience some level of hearing loss, which can make it difficult for them to interact with others. Senior hearing loss is caused by changes in the inner ear that come with age, or it can be caused by damage or illnesses that affect the ears. Certain types of hearing loss are preventable, even among seniors. If your aging loved one is worried about potential hearing loss, he or she can take these steps to minimize the risks.
1. Wear Protective Gear in Loud Areas
A lot of senior hearing loss is actually just simple noise-induced hearing loss. This type of loss is caused by excessively loud sounds that damage the tiny sensory hairs that line the ears. Seniors who were exposed to loud noises when they were younger may already have tinnitus, which can worsen into definite hearing loss if they continue to encounter excessively loud noises. If your loved one is in a loud environment, such as at a concert, a gun range, an airport, or a fireworks show, he or she should wear earplugs or other products designed to protect the ears.
If your loved one is experiencing hearing loss and could use some extra help at home to remain safe and comfortable, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Fort Worth seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
2. Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetic seniors have a higher risk of hearing loss because high blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels and nerves in the ears. To prevent this from happening, diabetics need to carefully monitor their blood sugar levels. Seniors who aren’t diabetic can prevent diabetes from developing by maintaining a healthy weight and eating a nutritious diet.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of elder care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
3. Avoid Prolonged Exposure to Noises
Noise-induced hearing loss isn’t just caused by obvious issues like loud rock concerts. Repeated exposure to even moderately loud noises can cause issues because it wears down the sensory hairs in the ears over time. Things like loud city traffic, listening to music with headphones, and running a lawn mower can increase the risk of hearing loss.
4. Keep Blood Pressure from Spiking
High blood pressure is another medical condition related to senior hearing loss. It causes hearing loss by damaging the tiny blood vessels that provide the cells in the ear with oxygen and nourishment. To prevent high blood pressure, seniors may need to reduce their sodium intake, drink more water, de-stress, and talk to their doctors about medications.
5. Be Aware of Medication Side Effects
Almost 200 medications have side effects that can cause damage to hearing, so it’s always good to be aware of the consequences of any medication your loved one takes. Most medications associated with hearing loss are chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics. However, even common drugs like aspirin can cause hearing loss if they’re repeatedly taken in high doses. Seniors who are concerned about hearing loss should talk to their doctors and find medications without these side effects.
Make sure your loved one has the support he or she needs to prevent hearing loss. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Fort Worth families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (817) 720-5556.