Avoiding Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

From sporting events to family gatherings to fireworks displays to motorcycle rides, summer is filled with fun activities. Most 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 harm your ability to hear. This hearing damage could be the result of anything from the roar of a motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks show.

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

There is no cure, but this form of hearing loss can be successfully controlled. Over the long run, you can protect your hearing and prevent damage by being aware of common sources of loud noise and formulating prevention strategies. With a few basic adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and protect your hearing health.

Is it actually that loud during the summer?

Summer may be one of those times of year where noise risks are easiest to overlook. Some of the most common hazardously loud noises include the following:

  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. The powerful motors in many of these mechanical tools are extremely loud. Motors that run on electricity rather than gas are typically quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Fireworks events: Many places have fireworks displays every month or more during the summer. From neighborhood parties to holiday festivities to sporting events, fireworks shows are everywhere during the summer months. Unfortunately, fireworks are extremely loud and can certainly cause damage to your hearing.
  • 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, such as a Nascar race or monster truck rally).
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they are outdoor concerts. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Driving: Taking a Sunday drive is very popular, but the wind rushing through 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 use of power tools: Summer is an excellent time for home improvement projects. But power tools, in general, are typically quite loud. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing hazard increases.

In general, sounds louder than 85dB are considered to be damaging. This is around the volume of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. That’s important to be aware of because these sounds may not seem particularly noisy. But the volume of these devices can cause hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

Each year, millions of individuals are affected by hearing loss. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can present at any age. That’s why prevention is so essential. Some of the most effective prevention strategies include the following:

  • Wear hearing protection: If you can’t avoid loud situations (or don’t want to miss out on certain enjoyable activities), you can get a set of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. When you’re in locations that are too noisy, use this protection to your advantage. Damage can be avoided in this way. You can be especially benefited by making use of hearing protection costume designed for you.
  • 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 damaging your hearing. There are numerous reliable apps available for smartphones that can help you monitor ambient noise levels, so you can be more mindful of when your surroundings become harmful to your hearing.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply turning down the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some quiet and a chance to recover. When everything is loud all the time, damage can progress more quickly.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): Spend a quieter next day after going to a fireworks display. This can give your ears more time to recuperate and avoid further and more substantial damage.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Utilizing disposable earplugs might 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 noisy environment, a cheap set of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really noisy, you need to regulate your exposure time. Your ears can be safeguarded from long-term damage in this way. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a noisy sporting event, for example, go and spend some time in a less noisy area.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss typically doesn’t happen suddenly. Many people won’t notice the symptoms for months or years. Often, the only way to determine whether you have any noise-related hearing loss is to have your hearing checked. We will help you comprehend how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and talk about treatment solutions for any hearing loss you may already have.

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

Begin your journey towards better hearing by contacting us 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.