Wellness

Dental, Vision and Hearing Tips for Caregivers

A doctor giving dental, vision and hearing tips to a caregiver.

The Golden Years are often described as the best years of life. It’s a time when many Americans take a break from full-time employment to pursue other activities or dreams. Seniors look forward to the freedom of retirement. As seniors age, they may need help taking care of their health. Review these dental, vision and hearing tips for caregivers.

Dental

Help people enjoy good oral health throughout their senior years.

Here are four things to know about dental care:

Cavities– As people age, their gum tissues may shrink and expose the roots of their teeth to decay. Medications also can reduce the natural flow of saliva, causing food particles to stick to teeth and possibly lead to decay. Daily brushing and flossing are essential to maintain good dental health and avoid cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease. Read these brushing tips for better dental health.

Gum sensitivity– As gums recede, the roots of the teeth may be exposed. Seniors also may experience more sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. The dentist may recommend the use of a special mouth rinse or toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Learn seven reasons why a person’s teeth may hurt.

Oral cancer– The risk of oral cancer increases with age. Lesions in the mouth can develop into cancer. During a dental visit, the doctor may recommend an oral cancer exam. Individuals who smoke or consume alcohol have a higher risk for oral cancer.

Tooth loss – Older people often lose teeth due to decay or poor dental care. They may have problems chewing food or experience misshapen facial features where teeth are missing. In the past, many seniors had their teeth pulled and dentures made to fit in their place. But today, dentists recommend keeping natural teeth as long as possible. Teeth that are pulled due to decay or injury can be replaced with a partial denture, bridge or implant.

Read about four things that can happen when people avoid going to the dentist.

Vision

As people age, they may notice changes in their vision. Here are two common vision problems:

Eye disease – Eye diseases can significantly impact vision or cause  Seniors should schedule an eye exam every one to two years for a comprehensive evaluation. The eye doctor will look for signs of common eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Seniors with diabetes, high blood pressure or family history of eye disorders are at increased risk.

By age 80, over half of American adults have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Over 4 million cataract surgeries are performed annually. Read this blog to learn more.

Low vision – The structure of the eye changes as people age. The pupil gets smaller, reducing the amount of light that reaches the  It affects vision clarity. Adding bright lights in rooms will make it easier for seniors to adjust to vision changes.

Review seven tips for better vision health.

Hearing

Over 33% of older adults have hearing problems. They may struggle to hear people talking in group settings or avoid phone conversations. They also may avoid loud restaurants or performances where they can’t hear well.

Hearing tests — Seniors should schedule regular hearing exams to detect hearing problems. The baseline test is the most important. That is the benchmark for tracking future hearing loss.

Treatment solutions — These may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices or surgery to correct any medical issues. For best results, treatment should be recommended by a hearing professional.

Discover four ways hearing loss can affect seniors’ quality of life.

Sources:
The Suburban Times
Medical News Today
The San Diego Union-Tribune
WebMD
NIH

Leave a comment