Preventing Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

From sporting events to family gatherings to fireworks shows to motorcycle rides, summer is filled with enjoyable experiences. The majority of these activities are completely safe and healthy, but some do come with a risk of noise-related hearing loss. That’s because loud noises, over time, can harm your ability to hear. A loud motorcycle engine or the roar of a crowd could be contributing to long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

Over time, extremely loud noises can cause damage to your ears. The result of this exposure is loss of hearing. Noise-related hearing loss is effectively permanent.

There is no cure, though this type of hearing loss can be successfully controlled. Over the long run, you can safeguard your hearing and avoid damage by being aware of prevalent sources of loud noise and formulating prevention strategies. You can protect the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by making use of a few basic adjustments.

Is summer really that noisy?

It can be quite easy to overlook noise hazards during the summer months. Here are some of the most prevalent and also most dangerous:

  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is an ideal time for home improvement projects. But power tools, in general, tend to be quite loud. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing risk increases.
  • Driving: Going for a Sunday drive is incredibly popular, but the wind rushing through your windows (or all around you if you’re driving a convertible) can be hard on your ears. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you are exposed.
  • Fireworks events: Many towns have fireworks displays every month or more during the summer. They happen at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. But fireworks shows are easily loud enough to cause irreversible hearing damage.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts have substantial risks to your hearing health. After all, these events are designed to be as loud as possible.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can harm your hearing, particularly 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 very loud powerful motors. It’s worth noting that entirely electric motors are often quieter.

Generally speaking, sounds above 85dB are considered to be damaging. A typical hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is around this volume. That’s significant to be aware of because these sounds might not feel particularly noisy. But the volume of these devices can result in hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

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

  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The more noisy the environment, the more you should limit your time. Your ears can be protected from long-term damage in this way. If you’re at a noisy sporting event, for example, go to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.
  • 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 prevented by giving your ears a chance to rest and recover.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply lowering the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some quiet and a chance to recover. When everything is loud all the time, damage can progress more quickly.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Making use of disposable earplugs may 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 environment all of a sudden.
  • Get your hearing checked: In some cases, hearing loss creeps up on you very slowly. It could take years to detect 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 understand how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and talk about treatment options for any hearing loss you may already have.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: 85 dB may not seem like a lot, but you would most likely be surprised how fast sounds can escalate above that minimum threshold. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can rapidly begin damaging your hearing. There are many 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.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a set of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or aren’t willing to avoid certain loud situations. When you’re in locations that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. This can help prevent damage. You can be especially benefited by utilizing hearing protection costume designed for you.

You don’t need to resign yourself to having noise-related hearing loss. You’re hearing can be maintained by utilizing prevention strategies. With the proper approach, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and protect your hearing.

Begin 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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