Strategies to Prevent Noise-Induced 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. And while most of these activities are safe, many can present invisible risks to your hearing health. Over time, the loud noises that come with some of these experiences can cause permanent hearing damage. This hearing damage could be the result of anything from a roaring motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks display.

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

There is no cure, but this type of hearing loss can be effectively controlled. Over the long run, you can safeguard your hearing and avoid damage by being aware of prevalent sources of loud noise and formulating 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 hazards are easiest to overlook. Some of the most prevalent dangerously loud noises include the following:

  • Fireworks events: Many towns have fireworks displays every month or more during the summer. They take place at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. But fireworks shows are easily loud enough to trigger irreversible hearing damage.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they are outside concerts. These events are, after all, meant to be really loud.
  • 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 dramatically worse the longer you’re exposed.
  • Routine lawn care: This could include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in many of these mechanical tools are extremely loud. Motors that run on electricity rather than gas are normally quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are perfect activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, are often quite loud. The more you utilize these tools, the more your hearing hazard increases.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, especially at events such as auto racing or monster truck rallies.

In general, sounds above 85dB are considered to be damaging. This is about the volume of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. That’s significant to be aware of because these sounds might not feel particularly noisy. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t cause damage.

Preventing noise-induced hearing damage

Each year, millions of individuals are affected by hearing loss. Noise-related hearing loss can happen at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. That’s why prevention is so significant. Some of the most successful prevention strategies include the following:

  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a break by simply decreasing the volume on your devices. When everything is loud all the time, damage can advance much faster.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss typically doesn’t happen suddenly. It could take years to notice in many instances. Getting your hearing checked can help you identify whether you have noise-related hearing loss. We will help you understand how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and talk about treatment solutions for any hearing loss you may already have.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: 85 dB might not seem like a lot, but you would probably be surprised how fast sounds can increase above that minimum threshold. Even your earbuds and headphones can begin to do damage at these volume levels. You can become more aware of when volume levels start to get too high by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • 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. If you’re at a noisy sporting event, for instance, walk to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Making use of 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 abruptly in a loud environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a set of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or aren’t willing to avoid specific loud 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 especially effective.
  • 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. Additional and more substantial damage can be avoided by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recover.

Noise-induced hearing loss is not unavoidable. You’re hearing can be preserved by utilizing prevention strategies. You can safeguard your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the proper strategy.

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.