Too much exposure to high decibel sound over time can cause gradual deterioration of sensitive tiny hair cells lining the inner ear, eventually leading to hearing loss. Although other causes of hearing loss, including age-related causes, are inevitable, following certain tips from Sonoma County elder care professionals can help prevent noise-induced hearing loss and maintain general hearing health of the elderly.
Wear Hearing Protection
Wearing hearing protection, such as earplugs, canal caps, and earmuffs, can help counter hearing loss resulting from exposure to loud sound. The hearing protectors, which can be purchased over-the-counter or customized to fit the ears, reduce noise by about 25 decibels. Earplugs and earmuffs can be worn together. It is advisable to keep hearing protectors handy and in good condition.
Limit Loud Noises
Seniors are more vulnerable to hearing problems, so they should not be exposed to impulse or continuous loud sounds. Turning down the music volume, conversing in low tones, and being alert to sources of hazardous noises can help halt noise-induced hearing impairment. Buying power tools, appliances, and other devices with sound controls may help as well.
Move Away from Loud Sound
Sometimes it becomes difficult to fully limit harmful noises resulting from sirens, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, power tools, and other hazardous noises in the environment. Staying away from such sounds or moving to a quiet room may help halt damage to the ear.
Teach Family and Friends the Importance of Avoiding Excessive Noise
Family and friends should know that seniors are more vulnerable to noise-induced hearing loss. They should, therefore, learn noise-reducing practices, including turning down the TV while talking, to help ensure seniors are not exposed to loud noises for prolonged periods.
Along with the aforementioned techniques, family caregivers in Sonoma County should wash out wax from the ears of seniors regularly and advise them against smoking to prevent permanent hearing impairment. Difficulty understanding what other people are saying, especially on the telephone or in a crowded room, may indicate that a senior is experiencing noise-induced hearing loss. It is vital to seek medical help if a person has irreversible hearing loss.
Home Care Assistance of Sonoma County is a trusted provider of comprehensive senior care, including Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Sonoma County, helping seniors maintain health, happiness, and safety in the comfort of home. Learn more about how our care services can benefit your elderly loved on by calling (707) 843.4368 and scheduling a free in-home consultation.