Practices to Avoid 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. And while most of these activities are healthy, many can present invisible risks to your hearing health. Over time, the loud noises that come with some of these activities can cause irreversible hearing damage. 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 excessively loud noises, over time, cause damage to your hearing. As a consequence, you experience hearing loss. Noise-related hearing loss is effectively irreversible.

Even though this kind of hearing loss has no cure, it can be effectively managed. Increasing your awareness of these common loud noises can help you better manage risks and establish prevention strategies, so you can protect your hearing over the long run. With a few basic adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and protect your hearing health.

Is summer really that noisy?

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

  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have really loud powerful motors. It’s worth pointing out that purely electric motors are often quieter.
  • Fireworks events: Summer is full of fireworks. They occur at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Regrettably, fireworks are extremely loud and can definitely cause damage to your ears.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts have considerable hazards to your hearing health. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are ideal activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, tend to be quite loud. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing risk increases.
  • Sporting events: Any time you’re around noisy crowds, you could 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).
  • 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. This is especially true if the sound happens for long durations without breaks.

The volume level that’s considered to be where damage begins to happen is around 85 dB. A typical hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is about this volume. These sounds might not seem especially loud so this is important to note. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t result in damage.

How can I prevent noise-related hearing loss?

Noise-related hearing loss impacts millions of people each year. Noise-related hearing loss can occur at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. That’s why prevention is so important. Some of the most effective prevention strategies include the following:

  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The more noisy the environment, the more you should limit your time. This can help prevent 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 less noisy spot.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as effective as more customized types, but they’re a lot better than nothing! An inexpensive set of disposable earplugs can help prevent considerable damage if you find yourself in a noisy environment all of a sudden.
  • 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 recover. When everything is loud all the time, damage can advance more quickly.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss normally doesn’t happen suddenly. Many individuals won’t detect the symptoms for months or years. Having your hearing checked can help you determine whether you have noise-related hearing loss. We will help you comprehend how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and discuss treatment solutions for any hearing loss you might already have.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a pair of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or aren’t willing to avoid certain loud situations. Use this hearing protection when you need to, when you are in situations that are loud. Damage can be avoided in this way. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • 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 significant damage can be avoided by giving your ears a chance to rest and recuperate.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: 85 dB might not seem like a lot, but you would probably be surprised how fast sounds can increase above that minimum threshold. Even your earbuds and headphones can start to do damage at these volume levels. There are many reliable apps available for smartphones that can help you track ambient noise levels, so you can be more aware of when your surroundings become harmful to your hearing.

Noise-induced hearing loss isn’t inevitable. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. You can protect your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the correct strategy.

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.