Some degree of hearing loss can be a normal part of aging, but severe hearing impairment is often caused by medications, exposure to loud noises, and other factors. However, there are steps your senior loved one can take to preserve his or her hearing. The Warren live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance offer a few tips that might help.
1. Check Medications
Certain prescription medications, antibiotics, and high doses of aspirin are ototoxic, which means they damage hearing. Talk with a doctor to ensure none of your loved one’s medications fall into this category and find out if alternatives are available.
2. Avoid Loud Noise
Though it’s too late for your loved one to prevent damage caused by workplace noise or listening to loud music in his or her younger days, avoiding loud noise now can slow the process of hearing loss. Any noises louder than 85 decibels, including a lawnmower or fireworks, can damage your loved one’s hearing. Your loved one should wear ear protection if he or she is exposed to loud noise.
3. Practice Good Hygiene
Hearing loss can be caused by otitis media, a bacterial infection. Though this condition is more common in children, it can also occur in seniors. Frequent hand washing can help prevent the spread of germs associated with this infection. Your loved one should also have an annual flu shot because having the flu can lead to hearing damage and other complications.
4. Quit Smoking
In addition to the other detrimental health effects of smoking, tobacco use can damage your loved one’s hearing. Encourage your loved one to give up cigarettes and talk with his or her doctor about methods to help with the cessation process.
5. Wear a Hearing Aid
If your loved one has been prescribed a hearing aid, using this device as directed can help prevent further hearing loss. Seniors who hearing aids but don’t use them tend to damage their hearing further by turning the television up too loud or making other unnecessary adjustments.
For additional tips on preventing hearing loss and helping your loved one remain healthy, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and 24-hour caregivers can provide medication reminders, assist with tasks like bathing and grooming, and help your loved one maintain his or her health in many other ways. To learn more about the in-home elder care Warren families trust, call 908.450.9400 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.