Avoiding Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The typical summer day is usually filled with fun experiences and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family outings to fireworks to sporting events. Most of these activities are perfectly safe and healthy, but some do come with a risk of noise-related hearing loss. Over time, the loud noises that come with some of these activities can cause irreversible hearing damage. A loud motorcycle engine or the roar of a crowd could be contributing to long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

Over time, really loud noises can trigger damage to your ears. The result of this exposure is loss of hearing. This kind of hearing loss has no cure.

Even though this kind of hearing loss can’t be cured, it can be successfully treated. Over the long run, you can protect your hearing and avoid damage by being aware of common sources of loud noise and formulating prevention strategies. You can safeguard the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by utilizing a few basic adjustments.

Is it really that loud during the summer?

Summer might be one of those times of year in which noise hazards are easiest to overlook. Here are some of the most prevalent and also most harmful:

  • Loud concerts: Even outside concerts have significant hazards to your hearing health. 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 typically quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, especially at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • 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 trigger irreversible hearing damage.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are ideal activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, are often really loud. 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 relevant if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you’re exposed.

In general, sounds above 85dB are considered to be damaging. This is about the range of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds might not seem particularly loud so this is important to note. But the volume of these devices can cause hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

Noise-induced hearing loss effects millions of individuals each year. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. Prevention is important for this exact reason. Some of the most successful prevention strategies include the following:

  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You may be surprised at just how rapidly sounds can increase above that 85dB danger zone volume. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can quickly start 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.
  • 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 recuperate and prevent further and more significant damage.
  • 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 recuperate. Damage will advance more rapidly if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss normally doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It could take years to detect in many instances. Frequently, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-related hearing loss is to get your hearing checked. We will help you understand how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and discuss treatment solutions for any hearing loss you might already have.
  • 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 environments that are loud. This can help prevent damage. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be particularly effective.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The louder the environment, the more you should limit your time. Your ears can be protected 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.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Making use of disposable earplugs might 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 considerable damage if you find yourself in a loud setting all of a sudden.

You don’t need to resign yourself to having noise-induced hearing loss. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. With the right approach, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and protect your hearing.

Start 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.