Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults, and it can have a major impact on quality of life when left untreated. While mild hearing loss is a natural part of growing older, sudden issues with any of the senses should never be taken lightly. Make sure your elderly loved one has the support he or she needs to prevent hearing loss. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Sacramento, CA, non-medical senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Here are a few of the steps seniors and their caregivers can take to slow the rate of hearing loss and prevent acute damage to the ear drums.
1. Properly Clean the Ears
Good hygiene is vital to ear health, and seniors and their caregivers should spend some time learning how to keep the ear canals clean. Cotton swabs should only be used to clean the outer curves of the ears, never inside the actual ear canals. As an alternative, caregivers can use a plastic syringe to irrigate their loved one’s ear canals with a wax softener or hydrogen peroxide.
2. Wear Earplugs
Even relatively low levels of noise can be dangerous if a senior is exposed to them for a long period. An easy way to make sure your loved one is not exposed to dangerous noises is to keep a spare set of earplugs with you whenever you leave the house. The earplugs will be invaluable if you are in a movie theater that is too loud or around a lawnmower for a long time.
3. Use Wireless Headphones
Seniors who are experiencing hearing loss often turn the volume up to compensate, but this habit is only going to damage their ears even further. If your loved one is having a tough time hearing the television or radio because of ambient noise, invest in a set of wireless headphones. Many wireless headphones even filter out background noise so the volume can be kept as low as possible.
4. Get a Hearing Detox
There may come a point when seniors attend a concert or sporting event that produces sounds well over 100dB. When this happens, they may need a hearing detox so their ear drums can recover. Just like other soft tissue, ear drums require a short recovery period after they have been damaged. For at least one full day after the event, your loved one should stay in a quiet environment and turn all his or her devices to the lowest possible volume settings.
5. Beware of High Blood Pressure
Much like the eyes, the ears are very sensitive to fluctuations in blood pressure. High blood pressure or layers of plaque in the veins can eventually cause permanent damage to the ears and result in secondary health complications such as tinnitus. Seniors who have high blood pressure should speak with their physicians about options for bringing their blood pressure back within a healthy range.
Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Sacramento, CA, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
6. Don’t Ignore Sudden Hearing Loss
There are quite a few different hearing-related symptoms that seniors should never ignore, including pain in the ears, ringing in the ears for more than a few minutes, sudden hearing loss, and unusual smells coming from the ears. If the underlying issue is minor, a doctor might be able to treat it without sending your loved one to an ear, throat, and nose specialist.
Hearing loss has been shown to increase the risk of developing serious cognitive conditions like dementia. A dementia diagnosis can be difficult for seniors and their families to face. If you need help caring for your aging loved one while he or she manages the challenges of dementia, turn to Home Care Assistance of Sacramento. Dementia care isn’t the only thing we specialize in. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are also trained to assist seniors during stroke recovery and help those living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s maintain a higher quality of life. Toe learn more about our high-quality at-home care, Sacramento families can call 916.706.0169 to speak with a qualified Care Manager.