Tactics to Avoid Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

From sporting events to family gatherings to fireworks shows to motorcycle rides, summer is filled with enjoyable activities. Most of these activities are perfectly 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 result in permanent hearing damage. A loud motorcycle engine or a roaring crowd could be contributing to long-term, noise-induced hearing loss.

What is noise-related hearing loss? This condition occurs when excessively loud noises, over time, trigger damage to your hearing. As a consequence, you experience hearing loss. Noise-related hearing loss is effectively permanent.

Although this kind of hearing loss has no cure, it can be successfully managed. Raising your awareness of these prevalent loud noises can help you better manage 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 protect your hearing health.

Is it actually that loud during the summer?

Summer may be one of those times of year in which noise risks are easiest to overlook. Here are some of the most prevalent and also most dangerous:

  • Driving: Going for a Sunday drive is incredibly popular, but the wind rushing into your windows (or all around you if you happen to be driving a convertible) can be tough on your ears. This is particularly true if the sound occurs for long periods without breaks.
  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. The powerful motors in many of these mechanical tools are very loud. It’s worth pointing out that entirely electric motors are usually quieter.
  • Fireworks events: Summer has lots of fireworks. From neighborhood gatherings to holiday festivities to sporting events, fireworks displays are everywhere during the summer months. Unfortunately, fireworks are incredibly loud and can definitely cause damage to your hearing.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they are outside concerts. After all, these events are designed to be as loud as possible.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can harm your hearing, particularly at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are ideal activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, tend to be really loud. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you utilize these tools.

In general, sounds above 85dB are considered to be damaging. The average hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is about this volume. That’s important to take note of because these sounds may not seem particularly noisy. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t cause damage.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

Noise-related hearing loss impacts millions of individuals every year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age. That’s why prevention is so significant. Here are a few of the most helpful prevention strategies:

  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a set of ear plugs or ear muffs handy in case you can’t or aren’t willing to avoid specific loud situations. Use this hearing protection when you need to, when you are in situations that are loud. This can help you avoid damage. You can be particularly benefited by making use of hearing protection costume designed for you.
  • 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 hearing. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a loud sporting event, for instance, go and spend some time in a quieter area.
  • Get your hearing checked: Sometimes, hearing loss creeps up on you really slowly. Many individuals won’t detect the symptoms for months or years. Frequently, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-related hearing loss is to get your hearing checked. We’ll be able to talk about how to avoid further damage, which treatment options may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • 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. This can give your ears more time to recuperate and prevent further and more significant damage.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a break by simply lowering the volume on your devices. Damage will advance faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a high volume.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as reliable as more customized types, but they’re much better than nothing! An inexpensive pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent considerable damage if you find yourself in a noisy setting all of a sudden.
  • 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 escalate above that minimum threshold. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can quickly start harming your hearing. You can become more conscious of when volume levels start to get too high by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.

You don’t need to resign yourself to having noise-induced hearing loss. Prevention strategies can help maintain your hearing. You can safeguard your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the right strategy.

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.