Practices to Avoid 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 reunions to fireworks to sporting events. And while the majority of these activities are healthy, many can present invisible risks to your hearing health. Over time, the loud noises that accompany some of these activities can lead to irreversible hearing damage. This hearing damage could be due to anything from a roaring motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks display.

What is noise-induced hearing loss? This condition happens when overly loud noises, over time, cause damage to your hearing. The result of this exposure is loss of hearing. This kind of hearing loss is irreversible.

Although this type of hearing loss can’t be cured, it can be successfully managed. Over the long run, you can protect your hearing and avoid damage by being aware of prevalent sources of loud noise and formulating prevention strategies. You can protect the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by utilizing a few simple adjustments.

Is summer actually that noisy?

Summer may be one of those times of year where noise risks are easiest to overlook. Some of the most common hazardously loud noises include the following:

  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are great activities during the summer. But it’s crucial to remember that all of those power tools can be quite noisy. The more you utilize these tools, the more your hearing risk increases.
  • Loud concerts: Even outside concerts have significant risks to your hearing health. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Fireworks events: Summer is full of fireworks. They take place at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Unfortunately, fireworks are extremely loud and can definitely cause damage to your hearing.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach hazardous volumes in your ears and this is even more significant if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes dramatically worse the longer you are 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 incredibly loud. It’s worth pointing out that entirely electric motors are often quieter.
  • Sporting events: Any time you’re in noisy crowds, you may increase your risk of noise damage (this can be even more relevant at sporting events that feature motorized attractions, including a Nascar race or monster truck rally).

Generally speaking, sounds above 85dB are considered to be harmful. A typical hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is about this volume. That’s important to note because these sounds might not seem particularly noisy. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t cause damage.

Preventing noise-induced hearing damage

Each year, millions of people are affected by hearing loss. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can present at any age. Prevention is important for this precise reason. Some of the most effective prevention strategies include the following:

  • Get your hearing checked: Sometimes, hearing loss sneaks up on you very slowly. Many individuals won’t notice the symptoms for months or years. Getting your hearing examined can help you identify whether you have noise-induced hearing loss. We’ll be able to discuss how to avoid additional damage, which treatment solutions may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as effective as more customized types, but they’re far better than nothing! An inexpensive pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent considerable damage if you find yourself in a loud environment all of a sudden.
  • 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: The more noisy the environment, the more you should limit your time. Your ears can be safeguarded from long-term damage in this way. If you’re at a noisy sporting event, for instance, go to a quieter area every thirty minutes or so.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you can’t avoid noisy situations (or don’t want to miss out on particular fun activities), you can get a set of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. Use this hearing protection whenever you need to, when you are in environments that are loud. This can help prevent damage. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be particularly effective.
  • 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 recover and avoid further and more substantial damage.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a break by simply lowering the volume on your devices. Damage will advance faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.

Noise-related hearing loss is not inevitable. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. With the right strategy, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and protect your hearing.

Consulting with us can help start 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.