Avoiding Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The average summer day is likely filled with fun experiences and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family outings to fireworks to sporting events. 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 damage your ability to hear. This hearing damage could be caused by anything from a roaring motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks show.

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

There is no cure, but this form of hearing loss can be effectively managed. Raising your awareness of these prevalent loud noises can help you better control risks and establish prevention strategies, so you can protect your hearing over the long run. With a few basic adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and protect your hearing health.

Is summer really that noisy?

It can be really easy to miss noise risks during the summer months. Here are some of the most prevalent and also most harmful:

  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, especially at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they are outside concerts. These events are, after all, intended to be quite loud.
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is a great time for home improvement projects. But it’s important to keep in mind that all of those power tools can be rather noisy. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you use these tools.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach damaging volumes in your ears and this is even more pertinent if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes dramatically worse the longer you’re exposed.
  • Fireworks events: Many areas 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 permanent hearing damage.
  • Routine lawn care: This could include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in many of these mechanical tools are incredibly loud. Motors that run on electricity rather than gas are normally quite a bit quieter, though.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage starts to occur is around 85 dB. This is around the range of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. That’s important to note because these sounds might not seem particularly noisy. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t result in damage.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

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

  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as effective as more customized types, but they’re far better than nothing! If you find yourself suddenly in a loud environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a rest by simply reducing the volume on your devices. When everything is loud all the time, damage can progress more quickly.
  • Get your hearing checked: Sometimes, hearing loss creeps up on you really gradually. Many people won’t notice 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 examined. We’ll be able to go over how to prevent additional 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): If you attended a loud fireworks show, make sure your next day is a quiet one. This can give your ears more time to recover and avoid further and more substantial damage.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You may be surprised at just how quickly sounds can escalate above that 85dB danger zone volume. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can quickly start damaging your ears. You can become more conscious of when volume levels start to get too loud by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a pair of ear plugs or ear muffs handy in case you can’t or are not willing to avoid specific noisy situations. When you are in locations that are too noisy, use this protection to your advantage. This can help you avoid damage. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The more noisy the environment, the more you should regulate your time. This can help protect against long-term damage to your hearing. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for instance, walk to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.

You don’t need to resign yourself to getting noise-induced hearing loss. Prevention strategies can help maintain your hearing. You can protect your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the proper strategy.

Talking to us can help start 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.