While some degree of hearing loss is a natural part of aging, the primary cause of hearing loss in the United States is excessive noise exposure. Over time, loud noises can damage the tiny hairs in your ears that conduct sound. This type of hearing loss is irreversible, but the following 5 steps can help prevent noise induced hearing loss.
1. Avoid Loud Noises
When possible, Jefferson County home care agencies recommend avoiding exposure to noises that are louder than 85 decibels. This includes sounds like gas lawnmowers, snow blowers, motorcycles, and firecrackers. A good rule of thumb: if you have to shout to be heard, the noise is too loud and could be damaging the ears.
2. Wear Ear Protection
If seniors must be exposed to noises over 85 decibels, wearing the right ear protection can help protect their hearing from damage. Foam or rubber earplugs, purchased over-the-counter or custom-made, can reduce noise by 15 to 30 decibels. Industrial earmuffs serve the same purpose, but fit over your ears. Both most completely block the ear canal to work effectively.
3. Turn the Volume Down
Lower the volume on the television set and stereo to the lowest comfortable level, and do the same when listening to music through earbuds or headphones.
4. Quit Smoking
Though smoking is a quiet activity, experts say it increases the risk for all types of hearing loss. Talk with a doctor about quitting smoking. For non-smokers, make it a point to avoid secondhand smoke.
5. Know When to Get Tested
If you suspect your loved one might have hearing loss, visit a doctor who can help diagnose and treat this condition. Even if his or her ears are already damaged, protecting them moving forward can help prevent further hearing loss.
If you’d like to learn more about senior wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance. As a trusted provider of senior care in Jefferson County, we strive to promote senior health and wellbeing. We offer comprehensive care services, including dementia and Alzheimer’s care Jefferson County families trust, with 24/7 availability and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Give us a call at (303) 987-5992 and schedule a free in-home consultation to learn more.