Tactics to Avoid Noise-Related 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 fun activities. 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 experiences can lead to permanent hearing damage. A loud motorcycle engine or the roar of a crowd could be causing long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

What is noise-induced hearing loss? This condition happens when overly loud noises, over time, trigger damage to your hearing. As a consequence, you experience hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss has no cure.

There is no cure, though this type of hearing loss can be successfully managed. Increasing your awareness of these prevalent loud noises can help you better manage risks and establish prevention strategies, so you can safeguard your hearing over the long run. With a few basic adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and safeguard your hearing health.

Is summer really that noisy?

It can be really easy to miss noise hazards during the summer months. Here are some of the most common and also most dangerous:

  • Routine lawn care: This could include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in most of these mechanical tools are extremely loud. It’s worth noting that entirely electric motors are usually quieter.
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is a great time for home improvement projects. But it’s crucial to keep in mind that all of those power tools can be quite noisy. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing hazard increases.
  • Driving: A Sunday drive is incredibly popular, but the wind rushing through your windows (or all around you if you’re driving a convertible) can be hard on your ears. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you are exposed.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, especially at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they are outdoor concerts. After all, these events are designed to be as loud as possible.
  • Fireworks events: Many areas have fireworks displays monthly or more during the summer. From neighborhood gatherings to holiday celebrations to sporting events, fireworks displays are everywhere during the summer months. Regrettably, fireworks are incredibly loud and can definitely cause damage to your hearing.

In general, sounds louder than 85dB are considered to be harmful. A typical hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is around this volume. These sounds may not seem particularly loud so this is significant to note. But the volume of these devices can cause hearing damage over time.

How can I prevent noise-induced hearing loss?

Noise-related hearing loss impacts millions of individuals every year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can happen at any age. That’s why prevention is so essential. Here are some of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • 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 escalate above that minimum threshold. Even your earbuds and headphones can begin to do damage at these volume levels. There are many dependable apps available for smartphones that can help you monitor ambient noise levels, so you can be more mindful of when your surroundings become dangerous to your hearing.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): Spend a quieter next day after attending a fireworks display. Additional and more significant damage can be prevented by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recover.
  • 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 recover. Damage will develop more rapidly if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a pair of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or aren’t willing to avoid specific noisy situations. When you are in environments that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. This can help prevent 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 might not be as effective as customized earplugs but, in a pinch, they’re better than no protection at all. If you find yourself abruptly in a noisy environment, a cheap set of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The more noisy the environment, the more you should limit your time. This can help protect against long-term damage to your ears. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a noisy sporting event, for instance, go and spend some time in a quieter area.
  • Get your hearing checked: Sometimes, hearing loss creeps up on you very slowly. Many people won’t detect the symptoms for months or years. Often, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-related hearing loss is to have your hearing checked. We’ll be able to go over how to avoid additional damage, which treatment solutions might be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

Noise-related hearing loss isn’t inevitable. Prevention strategies can help maintain your hearing. With the right strategy, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and safeguard your hearing.

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.

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