Preventing 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 enjoyable experiences. The majority of these activities are completely safe and healthy, but there are some that do come with a risk of noise-related hearing loss. That’s because loud noises, over time, can harm your ability to hear. A loud motorcycle engine or a roaring crowd could be causing long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

What is noise-related hearing loss? This condition occurs when overly loud noises, over time, trigger damage to your hearing. As a result, 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. Over the long run, you can safeguard your hearing and avoid damage by being aware of common sources of loud noise and developing 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 where noise hazards are easiest to miss. Some of the most prevalent dangerously loud noises include the following:

  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is an excellent time for home improvement projects. But it’s significant to remember that all of those power tools can be quite noisy. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you use these tools.
  • Sporting events: Any time you’re around loud crowds, you could increase your risk of noise damage (this can be even more prevalent at sporting events that feature motorized attractions, including a Nascar race or monster truck rally).
  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have really loud powerful motors. Motors that run on electricity instead of gas are normally much quieter, though.
  • Fireworks events: Many places have fireworks displays monthly or more during the summer. From neighborhood get-togethers to holiday celebrations to sporting events, fireworks shows are everywhere during the summer months. But fireworks shows are definitely loud enough to trigger irreversible hearing damage.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts have significant risks to your hearing health. After all, these events are designed to be as loud as possible.
  • Driving: Going for a Sunday drive is very popular, but the wind rushing into your windows (or all around you if you’re driving a convertible) can be hard on your ears. This is especially true if the sound happens for long periods without breaks.

Generally speaking, sounds louder than 85dB are considered to be harmful. This is about the range of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. That’s important to take note of because these sounds might not seem particularly noisy. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t cause damage.

How can I prevent noise-related hearing loss?

Every year, millions of people are impacted by hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. Prevention is significant for this precise reason. Some of the most successful prevention strategies include the following:

  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss normally doesn’t develop all of a sudden. It could take years to detect in many cases. Having 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 options for any hearing loss you may already have.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really loud, you should limit your exposure time. This can help prevent long-term damage to your ears. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a noisy sporting event, for example, go and spend some time in a less noisy area.
  • 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. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can rapidly start damaging your ears. You can become more conscious of when volume levels start to get too loud by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • 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. When you’re in settings that are too noisy, use this protection to your advantage. Damage can be avoided in this way. You can be particularly benefited by using hearing protection costume designed for you.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): Spend a quieter next day after attending 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 reducing the volume on your devices. Damage will advance faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Using disposable earplugs may 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 loud environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.

Noise-related hearing loss isn’t inevitable. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. You can safeguard your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the proper strategy.

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.