Tactics to Avoid Noise-Induced 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 experiences. Most of these activities are perfectly safe and healthy, but there are some that do come with a risk of noise-related hearing loss. That’s because loud noises, over time, can damage your ability to hear. This hearing damage could be due to anything from the roar of a motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks show.

What is noise-related hearing loss? This condition occurs when overly loud noises, over time, cause damage to your hearing. As a consequence, you experience hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is effectively permanent.

There is no cure, though this type of hearing loss can be successfully managed. Raising 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 it really that loud during the summer?

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

  • Driving: A Sunday drive is very popular, but the wind rushing through your windows (or all around you if you happen to be driving a convertible) can be hard on your ears. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you’re exposed.
  • Fireworks events: Many areas have fireworks displays every month or more during the summer. They take place at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Unfortunately, fireworks are extremely loud and can certainly cause damage to your hearing.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts have significant hazards to your hearing health. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Routine lawn care: This might include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in many of these mechanical tools are very loud. It’s worth noting that entirely electric motors are usually quieter.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can harm your hearing, particularly at events such as auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are great activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, tend to be really loud. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing risk increases.

The volume level that’s considered to be where damage begins to occur is around 85 dB. 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 that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t cause damage.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

Noise-related hearing loss impacts millions of individuals every year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss can present at any age. Prevention is important for this exact reason. Some of the most effective prevention strategies include the following:

  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss typically doesn’t happen suddenly. It could take years to notice in many instances. Having your hearing examined can help you identify whether you have noise-related hearing loss. We will help you understand how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and talk about treatment options for any hearing loss you may already have.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): Spend a quieter next day after attending a fireworks display. Additional and more substantial damage can be avoided by giving your ears a chance to rest and recuperate.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The more noisy the environment, the more you should regulate your time. This can help avoid long-term damage to your ears. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a loud sporting event, for example, go and spend some time in a quieter area.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Using disposable earplugs might not be as effective as customized earplugs but, in a pinch, they’re better than no protection at all. An inexpensive set of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant damage if you find yourself in a noisy setting all of a sudden.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you cannot avoid loud situations (or don’t want to miss out on certain fun activities), you can invest in a set of good ear muffs or ear plugs. Use this hearing protection whenever you need to, when you are in environments that are loud. This can help you avoid damage. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply reducing the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some quiet and a chance to recuperate. When everything is loud all the time, damage can develop more quickly.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You might be surprised at just how fast sounds can increase above that 85dB danger zone level. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can quickly start damaging your hearing. There are numerous reliable apps available for smartphones that can help you track ambient noise levels, so you can be more aware of when your surroundings become dangerous to your hearing.

Noise-induced hearing loss isn’t inevitable. Prevention strategies can help maintain your hearing. With the right strategy, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and protect your hearing.

Talking to us can help begin 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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