Strategies to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The typical summer day is usually filled with fun activities and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family outings to fireworks to sporting events. And while most of these activities are safe, many can present invisible risks to your hearing health. Over time, the loud noises that come with some of these experiences can cause irreversible hearing damage. This hearing damage could be caused by anything from a roaring motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks show.

Over time, very loud noises can cause damage to your ears. As a consequence, you experience hearing loss. This type of hearing loss has no cure.

There is no cure, but this form of hearing loss can be effectively managed. 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. You can protect the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by making use of a few simple adjustments.

Is it really that loud during the summer?

It can be really easy to overlook noise hazards during the summer months. Some of the most common dangerously loud noises include the following:

  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts have considerable hazards to your hearing health. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • 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.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, particularly at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Fireworks events: Many towns have fireworks displays monthly or more during the summer. From neighborhood gatherings to holiday celebrations to sporting events, fireworks shows are everywhere during the summer months. Unfortunately, fireworks are incredibly loud and can definitely cause damage to your hearing.
  • Routine lawn care: This may include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in many of these mechanical tools are very loud. Motors that run on electricity instead of gas are typically quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are great activities during the summer. But it’s significant to keep in mind that all of those power tools can be really noisy. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you use these tools.

In general, sounds above 85dB are considered to be damaging. A typical hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is around this volume. These sounds might 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. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age. Prevention is significant for this exact reason. Here are a few of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as reliable as more customized types, but they’re much better than nothing! If you find yourself suddenly in a noisy environment, a cheap set of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant hearing damage.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): Spend a quieter next day after going to a fireworks display. Additional and more substantial damage can be prevented by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recover.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss typically doesn’t develop suddenly. Many individuals won’t notice the symptoms for months or years. Getting your hearing checked can help you determine whether you have noise-related hearing loss. We’ll be able to discuss how to prevent additional damage, which treatment options might be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply turning down the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some rest and a chance to recuperate. When everything is loud all the time, damage can progress much faster.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you cannot avoid noisy environments (or don’t want to miss out on certain fun activities), you can get a set of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. Use this hearing protection when you need to, when you are in environments that are loud. Damage can be avoided in this way. You can be especially benefited by using hearing protection costume designed for you.
  • 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. There are numerous dependable apps available for smartphones that can help you track ambient noise levels, so you can be more aware of when your surroundings become dangerous to your hearing.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really loud, you should limit your exposure time. Your ears can be protected from long-term damage in this way. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for example, go to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.

You don’t need to resign yourself to having noise-related hearing loss. Prevention strategies can help maintain your hearing. You can protect your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the correct approach.

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.