Practices to Prevent Noise-Induced 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. And while the majority of these activities are safe, many can present invisible risks to your hearing health. That’s because loud noises, over time, can damage 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 occurs when extremely loud noises, over time, cause damage to your hearing. As a consequence, you experience hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is irreversible.

Even though this kind of hearing loss has no cure, it can be successfully treated. Over the long run, you can safeguard your hearing and avoid damage by being aware of prevalent sources of loud noise and developing prevention strategies. With a few simple adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and protect your hearing health.

Is summer really that noisy?

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

  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are perfect activities during the summer. But it’s crucial to remember that all of those power tools can be rather noisy. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you utilize these tools.
  • 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 extremely loud and can certainly cause damage to your ears.
  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have very loud powerful motors. Motors that run on electricity instead of gas are normally quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Driving: Going for a Sunday drive is incredibly popular, but the wind rushing into your windows (or all around you if you happen to be driving a convertible) can be tough on your ears. This is particularly true if the sound occurs for long periods without breaks.
  • Loud concerts: Even outside concerts have substantial hazards to your hearing health. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, particularly at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.

In general, sounds louder than 85dB are considered to be harmful. A typical hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is about this volume. That’s important to take note of because these sounds might not seem particularly noisy. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t result in damage.

How can I prevent noise-related hearing loss?

Every year, millions of people are impacted by hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can happen at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. Prevention is significant for this precise reason. Some of the most reliable prevention strategies include the following:

  • 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 prevent further and more significant damage.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: 85 dB may not seem like a lot, but you would probably be surprised how fast sounds can escalate above that minimum threshold. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can rapidly start harming your ears. There are many reliable apps available for smartphones that can help you track ambient noise levels, so you can be more aware of when your surroundings become harmful to your hearing.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Making use of disposable earplugs may not be as effective 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 noisy setting all of a sudden.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss usually doesn’t happen suddenly. Many people won’t notice the symptoms for months or years. Frequently, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-induced hearing loss is to have your hearing examined. We will help you understand how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and talk about treatment options for any hearing loss you might already have.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really noisy, you should regulate your exposure time. Your ears can be protected from long-term damage in this way. If you’re at a noisy sporting event, for instance, walk to a quieter area every thirty minutes or so.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a rest by simply turning down the volume on your devices. When everything is loud all the time, damage can progress more quickly.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a pair of ear plugs or ear muffs handy in case you can’t or are not willing to avoid certain noisy situations. Use this hearing protection when you need to, when you are in situations that are loud. Damage can be avoided in this way. You can be especially benefited by utilizing hearing protection costume designed for you.

You don’t need to resign yourself to having noise-related hearing loss. Prevention strategies can help preserve 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.