Avoiding Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The typical summer day is likely filled with fun activities and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family reunions to fireworks to sporting events. Most of these activities are perfectly safe and healthy, but there are some that do come with a risk of noise-related hearing loss. Over time, the loud noises that accompany some of these activities can cause permanent hearing damage. A loud motorcycle engine or the roar of a crowd could be causing long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

Over time, extremely loud noises can cause damage to your ears. The result of this exposure is loss of hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is effectively permanent.

Although this kind of hearing loss has no cure, it can be effectively treated. Raising your awareness of these common loud noises can help you better control risks and establish prevention strategies, so you can safeguard your hearing over the long run. You can protect the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by utilizing a few simple adjustments.

Is it really that loud during the summer?

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

  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach hazardous volumes in your ears and this is even more pertinent if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you’re exposed.
  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have very loud powerful motors. Motors that run on electricity instead of gas are usually quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can harm your hearing, especially at events such as auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts have considerable hazards to your hearing health. These events are, after all, intended to be quite loud.
  • Fireworks events: Summer has lots of fireworks. They happen at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. But fireworks shows are definitely loud enough to cause irreversible hearing damage.
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is a perfect time for home improvement projects. But power tools, in general, are typically really loud. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing hazard increases.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage starts to happen is around 85 dB. This is about the range of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds may not seem particularly 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 every year. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. Prevention is important for this exact reason. Here are some of the most helpful prevention strategies:

  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply reducing the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some rest and a chance to recover. Damage will advance more rapidly if you’re always listening to your devices at a high volume.
  • 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 begin to do damage at these volume levels. You can become more conscious of when volume levels start to get too loud by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as reliable as more customized types, but they’re a lot better than nothing! An inexpensive pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant damage if you find yourself in a noisy environment all of a sudden.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss usually doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It could take years to detect in many cases. Frequently, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-related hearing loss is to have your hearing examined. We’ll be able to discuss how to prevent additional damage, which treatment solutions might be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • 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 significant damage can be avoided by giving your ears a chance to rest and recover.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you cannot avoid loud situations (or don’t want to miss out on particular fun activities), you can invest in a set of good ear muffs or ear plugs. When you’re in settings that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. This can help you avoid damage. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The louder the environment, the more you should limit your time. This can help protect against long-term damage to your hearing. If you’re at a noisy sporting event, for example, walk to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.

You don’t need to resign yourself to getting noise-induced hearing loss. You’re hearing can be preserved by making use of prevention strategies. With the proper approach, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and protect 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.