Tactics to Prevent Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The typical summer day is likely filled with fun experiences and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family reunions to fireworks to sporting events. Most of these activities are completely safe and healthy, but there are some that do come with a risk of noise-related hearing loss. Over time, the loud noises that come with some of these experiences can lead to permanent hearing damage. This hearing damage could be due to anything from the roar of a 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 kind of hearing loss has no cure.

There is no cure, but this type of hearing loss can be successfully managed. Over the long run, you can protect your hearing and avoid damage by being aware of prevalent sources of loud noise and formulating prevention strategies. With a few basic adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and protect your hearing health.

Is summer actually that noisy?

It can be very easy to overlook noise hazards during the summer months. Here are some of the most prevalent and also most hazardous:

  • Fireworks events: Many areas have fireworks displays every month or more during the summer. From neighborhood parties to holiday festivities to sporting events, fireworks displays are everywhere during the summer months. But fireworks shows are easily loud enough to trigger irreversible hearing damage.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they’re outdoor concerts. These events are, after all, meant to be quite loud.
  • Sporting events: Any time you’re around loud 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 lawn care: This category includes chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have extremely loud powerful motors. It’s worth noting that entirely electric motors are often quieter.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are perfect activities during the summer. 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 hazard increases.
  • 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 exponentially worse the longer you are exposed.

Generally speaking, sounds above 85dB are considered to be damaging. This is about the range of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds may not seem especially loud so this is important to note. But the volume of these devices can cause hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

Each year, millions of individuals are affected by hearing loss. 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 practical prevention strategies:

  • Get your hearing checked: In some cases, hearing loss creeps up on you really gradually. Many individuals won’t detect the symptoms for months or years. Having your hearing checked can help you identify whether you have noise-induced hearing loss. We’ll be able to discuss how to counter additional damage, which treatment solutions 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 lowering the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some rest 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 far better than nothing! If you find yourself abruptly in a noisy environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant hearing damage.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you can’t avoid loud situations (or don’t want to miss out on particular enjoyable activities), you can invest in a set of good ear muffs or ear plugs. When you’re in settings that are too noisy, use this protection to your advantage. Damage can be avoided in this way. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • 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.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The more noisy the environment, the more you should regulate your time. This can help protect against long-term damage to your hearing. If you’re at a noisy sporting event, for instance, walk to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You may be surprised at just how fast sounds can escalate above that 85dB danger zone volume. Even your earbuds and headphones can start to do damage at these volume levels. There are numerous reliable apps available for smartphones that can help you track ambient noise levels, so you can be more mindful of when your surroundings become harmful to your hearing.

Noise-induced hearing loss is not unavoidable. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. With the proper strategy, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and safeguard your hearing.

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.