Strategies to Avoid Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

From sporting events to family gatherings to fireworks displays 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. Over time, the loud noises that accompany some of these experiences can result in irreversible hearing damage. A loud motorcycle engine or a roaring crowd could be causing long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

What is noise-induced hearing loss? This condition occurs 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 is irreversible.

Although this kind of hearing loss has no cure, it can be effectively treated. Over the long run, you can protect your hearing and prevent damage by being aware of common sources of loud noise and formulating prevention strategies. With a few simple adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and protect your hearing health.

Is summer really that noisy?

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

  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have extremely loud powerful motors. It’s worth noting that purely electric motors are often quieter.
  • Fireworks events: Summer has lots of fireworks. They take place at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. But fireworks shows are easily loud enough to trigger permanent hearing damage.
  • Loud concerts: Even outside concerts present considerable risks to your hearing health. These events are, after all, meant to be quite loud.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, particularly at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are great activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, are often really loud. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing hazard increases.
  • Driving: A Sunday drive is incredibly popular, but the wind rushing through your windows (or all around you if you’re driving a convertible) can be tough on your ears. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you are exposed.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage begins to occur is around 85 dB. This is about the volume 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 result in hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

Noise-related hearing loss effects millions of people every year. Noise-related hearing loss can occur at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. Prevention is important for this precise reason. Here are a few of the most helpful prevention strategies:

  • 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 level. Even your earbuds and headphones can start 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.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a rest by simply decreasing the volume on your devices. Damage will advance more rapidly if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Using disposable earplugs might not be as reliable as customized earplugs but, in a pinch, they’re better than no protection at all. An inexpensive set of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant damage if you find yourself in a noisy environment all of a sudden.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you can’t avoid noisy situations (or don’t want to miss out on particular fun activities), you can invest in a set of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. Use this hearing protection when you need to, when you are in environments that are noisy. This can help prevent damage. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really loud, you need to limit your exposure time. Your ears can be protected from long-term damage in this way. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a loud sporting event, for instance, go and spend some time in a quieter spot.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss usually doesn’t develop all of a sudden. It could take years to notice in many circumstances. Having your hearing checked can help you determine whether you have noise-related hearing loss. We will help you understand how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and talk about treatment options for any hearing loss you may already have.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): If you went to a loud fireworks display, make sure your next day is a quiet one. Additional and more substantial damage can be prevented by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recover.

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

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.