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 fun experiences. And while the majority of these activities are healthy, many can present hidden risks to your hearing health. That’s because loud noises, over time, can harm your ability to hear. A loud motorcycle engine or a roaring crowd could be causing long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

Over time, very loud noises can cause damage to your ears. The consequence of this exposure is loss of hearing. This type of hearing loss is irreversible.

Although this type of hearing loss can’t be cured, it can be successfully managed. Increasing your awareness of these common loud noises can help you better control risks and formulate prevention strategies, so you can protect 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 hazards are easiest to miss. Some of the most prevalent dangerously loud noises include the following:

  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach damaging volumes in your ears and this is even more pertinent if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you’re exposed.
  • Sporting events: Any time you’re around noisy crowds, you may increase your risk of noise damage (this can be even more prevalent at sporting events that feature motorized attractions, including a Nascar race or monster truck rally).
  • Fireworks events: Many places have fireworks displays monthly or more during the summer. They occur at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Regrettably, fireworks are incredibly loud and can definitely cause damage to your ears.
  • 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 danger the more you use these tools.
  • Routine lawn care: This may include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in most of these mechanical tools are extremely loud. Motors that run on electricity rather than gas are normally quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they are outdoor concerts. These events are, after all, meant to be really loud.

Generally speaking, sounds above 85dB are considered to be damaging. The average hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is around this volume. These sounds may not seem particularly loud so this is important to note. But the volume of these devices can cause hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-induced hearing damage

Every year, millions of people are affected by hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. Prevention is important for this precise reason. Here are a few of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • Wear hearing protection: If you cannot avoid noisy environments (or don’t want to miss out on certain fun activities), you can invest in a pair of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. When you’re in locations that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. Damage can be avoided in this way. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be particularly effective.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): If you attended a loud fireworks display, make sure your next day is a quiet one. Additional and more significant damage can be prevented by giving your ears a chance to rest and recover.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You might be surprised at just how rapidly sounds can escalate above that 85dB danger zone volume. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can rapidly begin damaging your hearing. There are numerous reliable apps available for smartphones that can help you monitor ambient noise levels, so you can be more aware of when your surroundings become dangerous to your hearing.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as reliable as more customized types, but they’re far better than nothing! If you find yourself suddenly in a loud environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really noisy, you should limit your exposure time. This can help avoid long-term damage to your hearing. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for example, go to a quieter area every thirty minutes or so.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a break by simply reducing the volume on your devices. Damage will advance faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a high volume.
  • Get your hearing checked: Sometimes, hearing loss creeps up on you quite slowly. It could take years to notice in many instances. Often, 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 talk about treatment solutions for any hearing loss you may already have.

Noise-induced hearing loss isn’t unavoidable. Prevention strategies can help maintain your hearing. With the correct approach, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and safeguard your hearing.

Start your journey towards better hearing by giving us a call 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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