Preventing Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

From sporting events to family get-togethers to fireworks shows to motorcycle rides, summer is filled with enjoyable activities. And while most of these activities are safe, many can present hidden risks to your hearing health. Over time, the loud noises that come with some of these experiences can result in permanent hearing damage. This hearing damage could be due to anything from a roaring motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks display.

Over time, really loud noises can cause damage to your ears. The consequence of this exposure is loss of hearing. Noise-related hearing loss is effectively irreversible.

Although this type of hearing loss has no cure, it can be successfully managed. Increasing your awareness of these prevalent loud noises can help you better manage risks and develop prevention strategies, so you can safeguard your hearing over the long run. With a few basic adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and protect your hearing health.

Is summer actually that noisy?

Summer may be one of those times of year where noise risks are easiest to overlook. Here are a few of the most prevalent and also most dangerous:

  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can harm your hearing, especially at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have extremely loud powerful motors. It’s worth pointing out that entirely electric motors are often quieter.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are ideal activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, are typically quite loud. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you use these tools.
  • Fireworks events: Many areas have fireworks displays monthly or more during the summer. They take place at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Regrettably, fireworks are extremely loud and can definitely cause damage to your ears.
  • Loud concerts: Even outside concerts have considerable risks to your hearing health. After all, these events are designed to be as loud as possible.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach hazardous volumes in your ears and this is even more significant if you drive a convertible. This is particularly true if the sound occurs for long intervals without breaks.

Generally speaking, sounds louder than 85dB are considered to be damaging. This is about the volume of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds may not seem particularly loud so this is significant to note. But the volume of these devices can cause hearing damage over time.

How can I prevent noise-induced hearing loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss impacts millions of individuals each year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can occur at any age. Prevention is significant for this precise reason. Some of the most reliable prevention strategies include the following:

  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: 85 dB might not seem like a lot, but you would probably be surprised how fast sounds can escalate above that minimum threshold. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can rapidly start damaging your ears. You can become more aware of when volume levels begin to get too loud by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): If you went to a loud fireworks display, make sure your next day is a quiet one. Additional and more significant damage can be avoided by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recover.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really noisy, you should regulate your exposure time. Your ears can be safeguarded from long-term damage in this way. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for instance, walk to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as effective as more customized types, but they’re a lot better than nothing! An inexpensive pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent considerable damage if you find yourself in a loud setting all of a sudden.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss normally doesn’t develop suddenly. Many individuals won’t detect the symptoms for months or years. Frequently, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-related hearing loss is to have your hearing checked. We will help you comprehend how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and discuss treatment solutions for any hearing loss you might already have.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply reducing the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some rest and a chance to recuperate. When everything is loud all the time, damage can develop much faster.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you cannot avoid loud environments (or don’t want to miss out on particular enjoyable activities), you can get a set of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. When you are in locations that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. This can help prevent damage. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.

Noise-related hearing loss is not inevitable. Prevention strategies can help maintain your hearing. With the right approach, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and safeguard your hearing.

Talking to us can help start your journey towards healthier ears and better hearing. Call today for an appointment!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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