Preventing Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The average summer day is usually filled with fun activities and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family outings to fireworks to sporting events. And while most of these activities are safe, many can present invisible risks to your hearing health. Over time, the loud noises that come with some of these experiences can result in irreversible hearing damage. A loud motorcycle engine or the roar of a crowd could be causing long-term, noise-induced hearing loss.

What is noise-induced hearing loss? This condition happens when excessively loud noises, over time, trigger damage to your hearing. As a consequence, you experience hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is 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 control risks and establish 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?

It can be very easy to miss noise hazards during the summer months. Here are a few of the most common and also most harmful:

  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are ideal activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, tend to be quite loud. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you use these tools.
  • Fireworks events: Summer has lots of fireworks. From neighborhood get-togethers to holiday celebrations to sporting events, fireworks shows are everywhere during the summer months. Regrettably, fireworks are extremely loud and can definitely cause damage to your ears.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can harm your hearing, especially at events such as auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Routine lawn care: This category includes chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. The powerful motors in many of these mechanical tools are extremely loud. It’s worth noting that purely electric motors are often quieter.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach damaging volumes in your ears and this is even more relevant if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you are exposed.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they’re outside concerts. These events are, after all, meant to be quite loud.

In general, sounds above 85dB are considered to be damaging. This is around the range of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds may not seem especially loud so this is significant to note. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t result in damage.

How can I prevent noise-induced hearing loss?

Noise-related hearing loss impacts millions of individuals each year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can happen at any age. That’s why prevention is so essential. Some of the most reliable prevention strategies include the following:

  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You might be surprised at just how fast sounds can escalate above that 85dB danger zone volume. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can quickly start harming your hearing. There are many reliable apps available for smartphones that can help you monitor ambient noise levels, so you can be more mindful of when your surroundings become dangerous to your hearing.
  • Get your hearing checked: Sometimes, hearing loss sneaks up on you very gradually. It could take years to notice in many circumstances. Frequently, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-induced hearing loss is to get your hearing examined. We’ll be able to discuss how to counter further damage, which treatment solutions may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): Spend a quieter next day after attending a fireworks display. This can give your ears more time to recuperate and prevent further and more significant damage.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a break by simply lowering the volume on your devices. Damage will advance more rapidly if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really noisy, you should regulate your exposure time. This can help prevent long-term damage to your ears. If you’re at a noisy sporting event, for example, go to a quieter area every thirty minutes or so.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a set of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or are not willing to avoid specific noisy situations. Use this hearing protection when you need to, when you are in environments that are loud. Damage can be avoided in this way. You can be particularly benefited by utilizing hearing protection costume designed for you.
  • 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! If you find yourself abruptly in a loud environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.

Noise-related hearing loss is not unavoidable. You’re hearing can be preserved by utilizing prevention strategies. You can safeguard your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the right approach.

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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