Hearing loss affects almost 2 million people over the age of 70, making it one of the most common chronic health conditions currently affecting seniors. In one independent study, over 90% of adults were found to have a degree of hearing loss. Despite these numbers, more than 36% of these adults never had their hearing tested. In the same study, 14% of seniors with hearing loss used a hearing aid. So how can seniors work to prevent both recreational and age related hearing loss? The answer is to be prepared and avoid any unnecessary loss of hearing.
A hearing loss prevention plan for seniors should consist of the following steps to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, while also attempting to avoid further damage from age-related hearing loss:
- Seniors must eat a healthy diet, while also ensuring adequate levels of vitamins and minerals are present within the body. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has linked vitamin status to hearing loss, showing that age-related hearing loss may be related to the nutritional status of seniors. A recent study of women between the ages of 55 and 71 years of age found that those with impaired hearing loss had lower blood levels of vitamin B-12 and folate than women with normal hearing. More in depth research is needed to determine if dietary supplements of vitamin B-12 and folate can truly help to prevent or delay hearing loss for seniors. However, most nutritional experts and scientists can agree that eating a balanced diet is still the best way to maintain healthy aging for seniors.
- Seniors should have their hearing tested regularly. These regular exams are especially important if seniors previously worked in a noisy environment. Regular hearing exams can help to detect early signs of hearing loss, allowing seniors to take the necessary steps to prevent any further hearing loss.
- Seniors must avoid most recreational hearing risks. Some activities can damage the hearing of seniors, such as hunting, extremely loud music, attending stock car races or riding loud motorcycles. One way to deal with most recreational hearing risks would be to wear ear protection. Seniors can use earplugs or headphones. Additionally, seniors may choose to take frequent breaks from loud noises or turn the volume down when listening to music or watching TV.
LivHOME is one of the nation’s largest professionally led at-home senior care companies and we are ready to help seniors work through the necessary steps of healthy hearing! Contact LivHOME today for a detailed evaluation.