Preventing Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The average summer day is usually filled with fun experiences and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family reunions to fireworks to sporting events. The majority 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 harm your ability to hear. This hearing damage could be caused by anything from the roar of a motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks display.

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

Even though this type of hearing loss has no cure, it can be effectively treated. Over the long run, you can safeguard your hearing and prevent damage by being aware of prevalent sources of loud noise and formulating prevention strategies. You can safeguard the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by using a few basic adjustments.

Is it actually that loud during the summer?

Summer might be one of those times of year in which noise hazards are easiest to miss. Some of the most common hazardously loud noises include the following:

  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is an ideal time for home improvement projects. But it’s crucial to remember that all of those power tools can be quite noisy. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing risk increases.
  • Sporting events: Any time you’re around noisy crowds, you could 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).
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they’re outdoor concerts. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Fireworks events: Summer is full of fireworks. They happen at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. But fireworks shows are definitely loud enough to cause irreversible hearing damage.
  • Driving: Taking a Sunday drive is incredibly popular, but the wind rushing into your windows (or all around you if you’re driving a convertible) can be tough on your ears. And the risk becomes dramatically worse the longer you are exposed.
  • Routine lawn care: This category includes 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.

The volume level that’s considered to be where damage starts to happen is around 85 dB. A typical hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is around this volume. That’s important to take note of because these sounds may not seem 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 impacted by hearing loss. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss can happen at any age. Prevention is important for this precise reason. Some of the most successful prevention strategies include the following:

  • 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 recover and avoid further and more significant damage.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a rest by simply turning down the volume on your devices. Damage will advance faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You may be surprised at just how fast sounds can escalate above that 85dB danger zone volume. Even your earbuds and headphones can begin to do damage at these volume levels. There are many dependable 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.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a pair of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or are not willing to avoid certain loud situations. Use this hearing protection whenever you need to, when you are in situations that are noisy. Damage can be avoided in this way. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be particularly effective.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The more noisy the environment, the more you should regulate your time. Your ears can be safeguarded from long-term damage in this way. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for example, go to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Utilizing disposable earplugs may not be as reliable as customized earplugs but, in a pinch, they’re better than no protection at all. If you find yourself suddenly in a loud environment, a cheap set of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant hearing damage.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss typically doesn’t develop all of a sudden. Many people won’t detect the symptoms for months or years. Often, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-induced hearing loss is to have your hearing checked. We’ll be able to go over how to prevent additional damage, which treatment solutions might be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

Noise-related hearing loss isn’t unavoidable. Prevention strategies can help maintain your hearing. With the proper strategy, 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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