Tactics to Avoid Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The average summer day is usually filled with fun experiences and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family outings to fireworks to sporting events. And while the majority of these activities are healthy, many can present hidden risks to your hearing health. Over time, the loud noises that accompany some of these activities can lead to irreversible hearing damage. A loud motorcycle engine or a roaring crowd could be contributing to long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

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

Although this kind of hearing loss has no cure, it can be effectively managed. Increasing your awareness of these common loud noises can help you better control risks and formulate 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 actually that noisy?

It can be really easy to overlook noise risks during the summer months. Here are some of the most prevalent and also most harmful:

  • Fireworks events: Summer is full of fireworks. They happen at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Unfortunately, fireworks are incredibly loud and can certainly cause damage to your ears.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach hazardous volumes in your ears and this is even more relevant if you drive a convertible. This is especially true if the sound happens for long periods without breaks.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, especially at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is an ideal time for home improvement projects. But power tools, in general, tend to be quite loud. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you use these tools.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts present substantial hazards to your hearing health. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Routine lawn care: This may include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in most of these mechanical tools are very loud. Motors that run on electricity rather than gas are normally much quieter, though.

In general, sounds louder than 85dB are considered to be harmful. This is around the range of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds may not seem especially loud so this is important to note. But the volume of these devices can result in hearing damage over time.

How can I prevent noise-induced hearing loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss impacts millions of individuals each year. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. That’s why prevention is so important. Here are some of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • 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 recover and prevent further and more significant damage.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a break by simply turning down the volume on your devices. When everything is loud all the time, damage can advance more quickly.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The more noisy the environment, the more you should regulate your time. Your ears can be safeguarded from long-term damage in this way. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for instance, walk to a quieter area every thirty minutes or so.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you can’t avoid loud situations (or don’t want to miss out on certain enjoyable activities), you can invest in a pair of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. When you are in settings that are too noisy, use this protection to your advantage. Damage can be avoided in this way. You can be especially benefited by utilizing hearing protection costume made for you.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss typically doesn’t happen all of a sudden. Many people won’t notice the symptoms for months or years. Having your hearing checked can help you determine whether you have noise-related hearing loss. We will help you comprehend how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and talk about treatment options for any hearing loss you may already have.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: 85 dB may not seem like a lot, but you would most likely be surprised how fast sounds can increase above that minimum threshold. Even your earbuds and headphones can start to do damage at these volume levels. There are numerous dependable apps available for smartphones that can help you monitor ambient noise levels, so you can be more aware of when your surroundings become harmful to your hearing.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Utilizing disposable earplugs may not be as effective as customized earplugs but, in a pinch, they’re better than no protection at all. An inexpensive set 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-related hearing loss. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. With the correct approach, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and protect your hearing.

Talking to 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.