Avoiding 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. Most of these activities are completely 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 the result of anything from a roaring motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks display.

What is noise-induced hearing loss? This condition occurs when extremely loud noises, over time, cause damage to your hearing. The consequence of this exposure is loss of hearing. This kind of hearing loss is irreversible.

There is no cure, though this form of hearing loss can be effectively managed. 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. With a few simple adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and safeguard your hearing health.

Is it actually that loud during the summer?

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

  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are ideal activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, are typically really loud. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you utilize these tools.
  • Routine lawn care: This category includes chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have very loud powerful motors. It’s worth pointing out that totally electric motors are usually quieter.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts have significant risks to your hearing health. These events are, after all, meant to be really loud.
  • Fireworks events: Summer is full of fireworks. From neighborhood parties to holiday festivities to sporting events, fireworks shows are everywhere during the summer months. Regrettably, fireworks are incredibly loud and can certainly cause damage to your hearing.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach hazardous volumes in your ears and this is even more pertinent if you drive a convertible. This is particularly true if the sound occurs for long intervals without breaks.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, especially at events such as auto racing or monster truck rallies.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage starts to happen is around 85 dB. A typical hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is about this volume. That’s important 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.

How can I prevent noise-related hearing loss?

Noise-related hearing loss impacts millions of people each year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can happen at any age. That’s why prevention is so important. Here are some of the most helpful prevention strategies:

  • Get your hearing checked: In some cases, hearing loss creeps up on you really gradually. It could take years to notice in many circumstances. 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 talk about how to counter further damage, which treatment solutions might be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply turning down the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some rest and a chance to recover. Damage will advance faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The louder the environment, the more you should limit your time. This can help avoid long-term damage to your ears. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for example, walk to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You might be surprised at just how quickly sounds can increase above that 85dB danger zone level. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can rapidly begin harming your ears. You can become more aware of when volume levels begin 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 much better than nothing! An inexpensive set of disposable earplugs can help prevent considerable damage if you find yourself in a loud environment all of a sudden.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a set of ear plugs or ear muffs handy in case you can’t or are not willing to avoid specific noisy situations. Wear this hearing protection whenever you need to, when you are in environments that are loud. Damage can be avoided in this way. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be particularly effective.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): If you attended a loud fireworks display, make sure your next day is a quiet one. Additional and more substantial damage can be avoided by giving your ears a chance to rest and recuperate.

Noise-induced hearing loss isn’t unavoidable. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. With the proper approach, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and protect your hearing.

Consulting with 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.