Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

From sporting events to family get-togethers to fireworks displays to motorcycle rides, summer is filled with fun experiences. The majority of these activities are perfectly safe and healthy, but some do come with a risk of noise-related hearing loss. Over time, the loud noises that accompany some of these activities can lead to irreversible hearing damage. This hearing damage could be the result of anything from the roar of a motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks display.

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

There is no cure, though this form of hearing loss can be successfully controlled. Over the long run, you can protect your hearing and avoid damage by being aware of common sources of loud noise and developing prevention strategies. You can protect the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by utilizing a few simple adjustments.

Is summer actually that noisy?

It can be very easy to miss noise hazards during the summer months. Some of the most common hazardously loud noises include the following:

  • Fireworks events: Summer has lots of fireworks. From neighborhood gatherings to holiday celebrations to sporting events, fireworks shows are everywhere during the summer months. But fireworks shows are definitely loud enough to trigger permanent hearing damage.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts have significant risks to your hearing health. These events are, after all, intended to be quite loud.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are ideal activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, are typically really loud. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing risk increases.
  • Routine lawn care: This could include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in most of these mechanical tools are incredibly loud. Motors that run on electricity instead of gas are typically much quieter, though.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach harmful volumes in your ears and this is even more significant if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you’re exposed.
  • Sporting events: Any time you’re in loud 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).

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage begins to occur is about 85 dB. The average hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is about this volume. These sounds may not seem especially loud so this is significant to note. But the volume of these devices can cause hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

Each year, millions of individuals are impacted by hearing loss. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can happen at any age. That’s why prevention is so essential. Here are a few of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss usually doesn’t happen all of a sudden. Many people won’t notice the symptoms for months or years. Often, the only way to determine whether you have any noise-induced hearing loss is to have your hearing examined. We’ll be able to discuss how to counter further damage, which treatment options may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • 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 increase above that minimum threshold. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can rapidly begin harming your hearing. You can become more aware of when volume levels start to get too loud by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as reliable as more customized types, but they’re far better than nothing! An inexpensive pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant damage if you find yourself in a noisy setting all of a sudden.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): If you attended a loud fireworks show, make sure your next day is a quiet one. Additional and more significant damage can be avoided by giving your ears a chance to rest and recuperate.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a pair of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or aren’t willing to avoid certain loud situations. Use this hearing protection when you need to, when you are in situations that are loud. Damage can be avoided in this way. You can be especially benefited by making use of hearing protection costume designed for you.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really loud, you should limit your exposure time. Your ears can be protected from long-term damage in this way. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for example, walk to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a rest by simply decreasing the volume on your devices. Damage will develop faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a high volume.

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

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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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