Strategies to Avoid Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

From sporting events to family get-togethers to fireworks displays to motorcycle rides, summer is filled with enjoyable experiences. Most 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 damage your ability to hear. This hearing damage could be the result of anything from a roaring motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks show.

What is noise-related hearing loss? This condition occurs when overly loud noises, over time, trigger damage to your hearing. The result of this exposure is loss of hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is effectively permanent.

There is no cure, but this type of hearing loss can be effectively controlled. Raising your awareness of these prevalent loud noises can help you better control risks and establish prevention strategies, so you can safeguard your hearing over the long run. With a few simple adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and safeguard your hearing health.

Is summer really that noisy?

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

  • Fireworks events: Summer has lots 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 ears.
  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have extremely loud powerful motors. Motors that run on electricity rather than gas are usually quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Driving: Taking a Sunday drive is incredibly popular, but the wind rushing into your windows (or all around you if you’re driving a convertible) can be tough on your ears. This is especially true if the sound occurs for long intervals without breaks.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts have significant hazards to your hearing health. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Sporting events: Any time you’re around noisy crowds, you may increase your risk of noise damage (this can be even more prevalent at sporting events that feature motorized attractions, such as a Nascar race or monster truck rally).
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is a great time for home improvement projects. But it’s significant to keep in mind that all of those power tools can be quite noisy. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing risk increases.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage starts to occur is about 85 dB. The average hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is about this volume. That’s important to be aware of because these sounds might not feel particularly noisy. But the volume of these devices can result in hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-induced hearing damage

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

  • Wear hearing protection: If you can’t avoid loud situations (or don’t want to miss out on particular fun activities), you can invest in a pair of good ear muffs or ear plugs. When you are in settings that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. This can help you avoid damage. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • 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. If you find yourself abruptly in a noisy environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really noisy, you should limit your exposure time. This can help avoid 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.
  • 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 much faster.
  • Get your hearing checked: Sometimes, hearing loss creeps up on you very slowly. It could take years to notice in many instances. Getting your hearing checked can help you identify whether you have noise-induced hearing loss. We’ll be able to discuss how to prevent additional damage, which treatment options may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: 85 dB might 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. You can become more aware of when volume levels begin to get too loud by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • 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 prevented by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recover.

Noise-induced hearing loss isn’t inevitable. You’re hearing can be maintained by using prevention strategies. You can protect your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the proper 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.