Practices to Avoid Noise-Induced 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 experiences. The majority of these activities are completely safe and healthy, but some 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 the roar of a crowd could be causing long-term, noise-induced hearing loss.

Over time, very loud noises can cause damage to your ears. The consequence of this exposure is loss of hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is effectively irreversible.

There is no cure, though this form of hearing loss can be successfully controlled. Over the long run, you can protect your hearing and prevent 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 safeguard your hearing health.

Is it actually that loud during the summer?

Summer might be one of those times of year where noise hazards are easiest to overlook. Here are some of the most common and also most hazardous:

  • Driving: A Sunday drive is very 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 dramatically worse the longer you are exposed.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can harm your hearing, particularly at events such as 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 planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is a perfect time for home improvement projects. But it’s important to keep in mind that all of those power tools can be really noisy. The more you utilize these tools, the more your hearing risk increases.
  • Routine lawn care: This might include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in most of these mechanical tools are very loud. It’s worth noting that entirely electric motors are usually quieter.
  • Fireworks events: Summer is full of fireworks. They occur at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Regrettably, fireworks are incredibly loud and can certainly cause damage to your hearing.

In general, sounds above 85dB are considered to be harmful. This is around the volume of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds might not seem especially loud so this is significant to note. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t cause damage.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

Noise-induced hearing loss impacts millions of individuals every year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age. That’s why prevention is so important. Some of the most reliable prevention strategies include the following:

  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply lowering the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some quiet and a chance to recover. When everything is loud all the time, damage can progress much faster.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as effective as more customized types, but they’re a lot better than nothing! If you find yourself abruptly in a loud environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant hearing damage.
  • 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. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a loud sporting event, for example, go and spend some time in a less noisy area.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You might be surprised at just how quickly sounds can escalate above that 85dB danger zone level. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can quickly begin damaging your ears. There are many reliable 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.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss typically doesn’t develop suddenly. It could take years to notice in many circumstances. Frequently, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-induced hearing loss is to have your hearing checked. We’ll be able to talk about how to avoid further damage, which treatment options 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): Spend a quieter next day after going to a fireworks display. This can give your ears more time to recuperate and prevent further and more substantial damage.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you cannot avoid noisy situations (or don’t want to miss out on particular fun activities), you can get a pair of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. When you are in environments that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. This can help prevent damage. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.

Noise-related hearing loss isn’t inevitable. You’re hearing can be preserved by making use of prevention strategies. You can safeguard your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the right approach.

Talking to 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.