Strategies to Avoid Noise-Related 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 outings 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 damage 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-related hearing loss? This condition happens when overly loud noises, over time, trigger 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 can’t be cured, it can be effectively treated. Raising your awareness of these common 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 basic adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and safeguard your hearing health.

Is it actually that loud during the summer?

Summer may be one of those times of year in which noise hazards are easiest to miss. Some of the most prevalent dangerously loud noises include the following:

  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is a perfect time for home improvement projects. But power tools, in general, are typically quite loud. The more you utilize these tools, the more your hearing risk increases.
  • 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 incredibly loud. It’s worth pointing out that purely electric motors are often quieter.
  • Fireworks events: Many places have fireworks displays every month or more during the summer. 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 outdoor concerts have significant hazards to your hearing health. These events are, after all, meant to be quite loud.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach damaging volumes in your ears and this is even more significant if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you are exposed.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, especially at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage starts to occur is about 85 dB. This is about the volume of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds might not seem particularly loud so this is important to note. But the volume of these devices can result in hearing damage over time.

How can I prevent noise-induced hearing loss?

Noise-related hearing loss impacts millions of individuals each year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age. That’s why prevention is so important. Here are some of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really loud, you should regulate your exposure time. This can help prevent long-term damage to your ears. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for instance, walk to a quieter spot every thirty minutes or so.
  • Get your hearing checked: In some cases, hearing loss sneaks up on you quite gradually. Many individuals won’t detect the symptoms for months or years. Often, the only way to determine whether you have any noise-related hearing loss is to have your hearing checked. We will help you understand how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and discuss treatment solutions for any hearing loss you may already have.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply lowering the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some quiet and a chance to recover. Damage will develop more rapidly if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: 85 dB may not seem like a lot, but you would probably be surprised how fast sounds can increase above that minimum threshold. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can rapidly begin harming your hearing. There are many reliable apps available for smartphones that can help you monitor ambient noise levels, so you can be more aware of when your surroundings become harmful to your hearing.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Making use of disposable earplugs may not be as effective as customized earplugs but, in a pinch, they’re better than no protection at all. If you find yourself abruptly in a loud environment, a cheap set of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant hearing damage.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): If you went to a loud fireworks show, 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.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a set of ear plugs or ear muffs handy in case you can’t or aren’t willing to avoid certain loud situations. When you’re in environments that are too noisy, use this protection to your advantage. This can help prevent damage. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.

Noise-induced hearing loss isn’t unavoidable. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. With the proper 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.