Tactics to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The typical summer day is likely filled with fun activities and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family reunions to fireworks to sporting events. The majority of these activities are completely safe and healthy, but there are some that do come with a risk of noise-related hearing loss. That’s because loud noises, over time, can harm your ability to hear. This hearing damage could be due to anything from the roar of a motorcycle engine to the booms of a fireworks display.

What is noise-induced hearing loss? This condition happens when excessively loud noises, over time, trigger damage to your hearing. The result of this exposure is loss of hearing. This kind of hearing loss has no cure.

Even though this kind of hearing loss can’t be cured, it can be successfully managed. Raising your awareness of these prevalent loud noises can help you better control risks and formulate prevention strategies, so you can safeguard your hearing over the long run. With a few basic adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and protect your hearing health.

Is it really that loud during the summer?

Summer may be one of those times of year in which noise hazards are easiest to miss. Here are a few of the most prevalent and also most harmful:

  • Routine lawn care: This could include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. The powerful motors in many of these mechanical tools are incredibly loud. It’s worth pointing out that purely electric motors are often quieter.
  • Loud concerts: Even outdoor concerts have considerable risks to your hearing health. These events are, after all, intended to be really loud.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach harmful volumes in your ears and this is even more pertinent if you drive a convertible. This is especially true if the sound happens for long periods without breaks.
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is a great time for home improvement projects. But power tools, in general, are often really loud. The more you utilize these tools, the more your hearing hazard increases.
  • Sporting events: Any time you’re in loud crowds, you may increase your risk of noise damage (this can be even more prevalent at sporting events that feature motorized attractions, including a Nascar race or monster truck rally).
  • Fireworks events: Summer is full of fireworks. They take place at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. But fireworks shows are definitely loud enough to trigger permanent hearing damage.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage starts to happen is around 85 dB. A typical hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is around this volume. That’s important to take note of because these sounds might not feel particularly noisy. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t cause damage.

Preventing noise-induced hearing damage

Every year, millions of individuals are affected by hearing loss. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can present at any age. That’s why prevention is so significant. Here are some of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Utilizing disposable earplugs may 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 setting all of a sudden.
  • 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 specific loud situations. When you are in locations that are too noisy, use this protection to your advantage. This can help you avoid damage. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The more noisy the environment, the more you should regulate your time. Your ears can be safeguarded from long-term damage in this way. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for example, 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 increase above that 85dB danger zone volume. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can quickly begin harming your hearing. 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.
  • 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 advance much faster.
  • Get your hearing checked: Sometimes, hearing loss creeps up on you very slowly. Many individuals won’t detect the symptoms for months or years. Frequently, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-induced hearing loss is to get your hearing examined. We’ll be able to go over how to prevent further damage, which treatment options might 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. Additional and more significant damage can be avoided by giving your ears a chance to rest and recuperate.

Noise-related hearing loss is not unavoidable. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. With the right approach, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and protect your hearing.

Start your journey towards better hearing by giving us a call for an appointment.

The content of this blog is the intellectual property of MedPB.com and is reprinted here with permission. The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a hearing aid consultation, call today to schedule an appointment.