Practices to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

From sporting events to family get-togethers to fireworks shows to motorcycle rides, summer is filled with fun experiences. And while most of these activities are healthy, many can present hidden risks to your hearing health. 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 contributing to long-term, noise-induced hearing loss.

What is noise-related hearing loss? This condition happens when overly loud noises, over time, trigger damage to your hearing. The consequence of this exposure is loss of hearing. This type of hearing loss has no cure.

There is no cure, though this form of hearing loss can be effectively managed. Increasing your awareness of these prevalent loud noises can help you better control risks and formulate prevention strategies, so you can protect your hearing over the long run. You can safeguard the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by making use of a few simple adjustments.

Is summer actually that noisy?

It can be very easy to overlook noise risks during the summer months. Some of the most common hazardously loud noises include the following:

  • Sporting events: Any time you’re in loud crowds, you could increase your risk of noise damage (this can be even more relevant at sporting events that feature motorized attractions, including a Nascar race or monster truck rally).
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are perfect activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, tend to be really loud. Your hearing health is in increasing danger the more you utilize these tools.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach hazardous volumes in your ears and this is even more significant if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes dramatically worse the longer you are exposed.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts present considerable risks to your hearing health. These events are, after all, intended to be quite loud.
  • Fireworks events: Many areas have fireworks displays monthly or more during the summer. They occur at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. But fireworks shows are easily loud enough to cause irreversible hearing damage.
  • Routine lawn care: This could include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in most of these mechanical tools are incredibly loud. It’s worth pointing out that totally electric motors are often quieter.

In general, sounds above 85dB are considered to be damaging. A typical hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is around this volume. That’s significant to note because these sounds may not feel particularly noisy. But the volume of these devices can cause hearing damage over time.

How can I prevent noise-related hearing loss?

Each year, millions of people are affected by hearing loss. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age. Prevention is important 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 loud environment, a cheap set of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a set of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or are not willing to avoid certain noisy situations. Use this hearing protection when you need to, when you are in environments that are loud. This can help prevent damage. You can be especially benefited by making use of hearing protection costume made for you.
  • 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 ears. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a loud sporting event, for example, go and spend some time in a quieter spot.
  • 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.
  • 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. Getting your hearing examined can help you identify whether you have noise-induced hearing loss. We’ll be able to talk about 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.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You might be surprised at just how fast sounds can increase above that 85dB danger zone volume. Even your earbuds and headphones can start to do damage at these volume levels. You can become more aware of when volume levels start to get too high by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • 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 recuperate. Damage will advance more rapidly if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.

Noise-induced hearing loss isn’t inevitable. You’re hearing can be maintained by using prevention strategies. With the proper strategy, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and protect your hearing.

Begin your journey towards better hearing by contacting us 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.