Preventing Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The average summer day is likely filled with fun experiences and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family reunions to fireworks to sporting events. 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 damage your ability to hear. A loud motorcycle engine or a roaring crowd could be contributing to long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

Over time, extremely loud noises can cause damage to your ears. As a consequence, you experience hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is irreversible.

Even though this type of hearing loss has no cure, it can be effectively managed. Raising your awareness of these common loud noises can help you better manage risks and formulate prevention strategies, so you can protect your hearing over the long run. 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 might be one of those times of year where noise hazards are easiest to overlook. Here are a few of the most common and also most dangerous:

  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. The powerful motors in most of these mechanical tools are extremely loud. Motors that run on electricity rather than gas are normally quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Fireworks events: Many towns have fireworks displays every month or more during the summer. They happen at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Unfortunately, fireworks are incredibly loud and can definitely cause damage to your hearing.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, particularly at events such as auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is a great time for home improvement projects. But it’s important to remember that all of those power tools can be rather noisy. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing hazard increases.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they’re outside concerts. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Driving: 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 especially true if the sound happens for long intervals without breaks.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage begins to occur is around 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 might not seem particularly noisy. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t result in damage.

How can I prevent noise-induced hearing loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss impacts millions of individuals each year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss can happen at any age. That’s why prevention is so essential. Some of the most successful prevention strategies include the following:

  • 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. When everything is loud all the time, damage can develop more quickly.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): If you went to a loud fireworks display, make sure your next day is a quiet one. Additional and more significant damage can be prevented by giving your ears a chance to rest and recuperate.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The louder the environment, the more you should regulate your time. Your ears can be protected from long-term damage in this way. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for example, walk to a quieter area every thirty minutes or so.
  • Get your hearing checked: In some cases, hearing loss creeps up on you really gradually. Many people won’t notice the symptoms for months or years. Frequently, the only way to determine whether you have any noise-induced hearing loss is to have your hearing checked. We’ll be able to go over how to prevent additional damage, which treatment solutions may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You might be surprised at just how fast sounds can increase above that 85dB danger zone volume. Even your earbuds and headphones can begin to do damage at these volume levels. There are numerous reliable apps available for smartphones that can help you track ambient noise levels, so you can be more mindful of when your surroundings become dangerous to your hearing.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you cannot 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 are in locations that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. This can help you avoid damage. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Utilizing disposable earplugs may not be as reliable as customized earplugs but, in a pinch, they’re better than no protection at all. If you find yourself abruptly in a loud environment, a cheap set of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.

Noise-related hearing loss isn’t unavoidable. You’re hearing can be maintained by making use of prevention strategies. You can protect your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the correct strategy.

Consulting with us can help begin 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.