(d) Most patients prefer to care for their own contact lens. A contact
lens is a small, round, sometimes colored disk that fits over the cornea. If the patient is
unable to remove the lens, the specialist should seek assistance from someone who is
familiar with the procedure. The lens should not be reinserted until the patient is
capable of caring for the lens himself. It is very important that you care for the patients
who are unable to properly take care of their lens. Prolonged wearing of contact lens
may cause serious damage to the cornea.
Care of the ears.
(a) The ears are cleaned during the bed bath. A clean corner of a
moistened washcloth rotated gently into the ear is used for cleaning. Also, a cotton-
tipped applicator is useful for cleansing the pinna.
(b) The care of the hearing aid involves routine cleaning, battery care,
and proper insertion techniques. The specialist must assess the patient's knowledge
and routines for cleaning and caring for his hearing aid. The specialist will also
determine whether the patient can hear clearly with the use of the aid by talking slowly
and clearly in a normal tone of voice. Have the patient suggest any additional tips for
care of the hearing aid. When not in use, the hearing aid should be stored where it will
not become damaged. The hearing aid should be turned off when not in use. The
outside of the hearing aid should be cleaned with a clean, dry cloth. Hearing loss is a
common health problem with the elderly, and the aid assists in the ability to
communicate and react appropriately in the environment.
Care of the nose.
(a) Secretions can usually be removed from the nose by having the
patient blow into a soft tissue. The specialist must teach the patient that harsh blowing
causes pressure capable of injuring the eardrum, nasal mucosa, and even sensitive eye
structures. If the patient is not able to clean his nose, the specialist will assist using a
saline moistened washcloth or cotton tipped applicator. Do not insert the applicator
beyond the cotton tip.
(b) Suctioning may be necessary if the secretions are excessive.
When patients receive oxygen per nasal cannula, or have a nasogastric tube, you
should cleanse the nares every 8 hours. Use a cotton-tipped applicator moistened with
saline. Secretions are likely to collect and dry around the tube; therefore, you will need
to cleanse the tube with soap and water.