Avoiding 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. Most 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 show.

What is noise-induced hearing loss? This condition happens when excessively loud noises, over time, trigger damage to your hearing. As a consequence, you experience hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss is irreversible.

Even though this type of hearing loss has no cure, it can be effectively managed. Over the long run, you can protect your hearing and prevent 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 making use of a few simple adjustments.

Is it actually that loud during the summer?

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

  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are great activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, are typically quite loud. The more you utilize these tools, the more your hearing risk increases.
  • Fireworks events: Many places have fireworks displays every month or more during the summer. They occur at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Regrettably, fireworks are incredibly loud and can definitely cause damage to your ears.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they’re outdoor concerts. After all, these events are designed to be as loud as possible.
  • 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 incredibly loud. Motors that run on electricity instead of gas are usually quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can harm your hearing, particularly at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Driving: Taking a Sunday drive is very popular, but the wind rushing through your windows (or all around you if you happen to be driving a convertible) can be hard on your ears. This is especially true if the sound occurs for long intervals without breaks.

The volume level that’s considered to be where damage starts to occur is about 85 dB. This is about 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 result in hearing damage over time.

How can I prevent noise-related hearing loss?

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

  • Wear hearing protection: If you cannot avoid loud environments (or don’t want to miss out on certain enjoyable activities), you can invest in a set of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. Wear this hearing protection whenever you need to, when you are in environments that are loud. This can help prevent damage. You can be especially benefited by making use of hearing protection costume designed for you.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a rest by simply decreasing the volume on your devices. When everything is loud all the time, damage can progress more quickly.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Using disposable earplugs may not be as reliable as customized earplugs but, in a pinch, they’re better than no protection at all. An inexpensive pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant damage if you find yourself in a loud setting all of a sudden.
  • 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. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a noisy sporting event, for example, go and spend some time in a less noisy spot.
  • 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 level. Even your earbuds and headphones can start to do damage at these volume levels. You can become more aware of when volume levels begin to get too loud by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): Spend a quieter next day after attending a fireworks display. Additional and more substantial damage can be prevented by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recover.
  • Get your hearing checked: In some cases, hearing loss creeps up on you quite gradually. 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 get your hearing examined. We’ll be able to discuss how to counter additional damage, which treatment options may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

You don’t need to resign yourself to having noise-related hearing loss. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. You can safeguard your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the proper approach.

Begin 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.