Age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, is the most common chronic health condition for our seniors.
As the population ages, it is expected that there will be 28 million boomers with age-related hearing loss by 2030. Unfortunately, this condition is not curable — but may be treatable with hearing aids.
Untreated hearing loss can lead to depression and isolation in seniors so this is not something to leave alone if we have concerns our loved ones are effected.
Hearing Aid Care
With so many seniors facing hearing loss, caregivers often have another thing to worry about—hearing aids. Hearing aids need regular care and maintenance to work properly. Here are some tips for you to keep your senior’s “ears” in shape:
- Avoid getting hearing aids wet. Remember to remove them in the bath or shower and when your senior goes swimming. Take them off in the rain or cover to protect them from moisture. Don’t store the aids in the bathroom. If your senior is sweating a lot, dry the area of the ears frequently to reduce moisture exposure.
- Avoid getting the hearing aids dirty. Be sure your hands are clean and dry when you take the hearing aids in and out, store them, change the batteries or care for them.
- Be careful when they are put in or taken out to prevent them from falling on a hard surface to reduce the likelihood that they will get damaged.
- Regularly remove moisture with a dryer specially designed for hearing aids. We have many years of experience with the Dry and Store Professional.
- Protect them from heat sources such as direct sun, heaters, radiators or hair dryers.
- Keep them safe from pets that might be attracted to their sound and enjoy chewing them to pieces or putting them in their favorite hiding place.
- Check the batteries regularly and recycle old batteries.
- Clean the aids regularly removing any built up wax or oil.
- Have the aids checked by an audiologist or technician every six months or so to have the tubing replaced if they are over the ear aids. The tubing can dry out and crack, reducing their effectiveness. Ear molds need to be remade when they get dry to prevent hurting the ear canal.
- Store the aids in a safe and dry place every time they are removed, the same place each time to avoid losing them. Don’t let your senior put in his pocket to avoid running them through the washing machine.
- Check your senior’s ears for excessive wax buildup that might cause discomfort and reduce the effectiveness of the hearing aids. The doctor may need to check your senior’s ear health during a scheduled visit.
- If you are afraid your senior may lose them, there are devices that hold the hearing aid onto eyeglass frames so that won’t get lost.
Hearing aids work best when they are in good condition and when they are actually worn. The gain your senior receives from the use of his hearing aids will benefit him and you every day.
We look forward to hearing your experiences and tips for caring for and keeping your senior’s hearing aids on.
More on Dry and Store
We cannot over-emphasize the importance of keeping hearing aids dry and, as we mentioned, have used the Dry & Store Professional for many years. While it has been discontinued, you should consider the Dry and Store Global II model, about which we have heard and read good things, and their Zephyr travel version. Key to all of three is the Dry-Brik II Desiccant Blocks , which absorbs the moisture that hearing aids pick up from usage.