Practices to Prevent Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The average summer day is likely filled with fun activities and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family outings to fireworks to sporting events. And while the majority of these activities are healthy, many can present hidden risks to your hearing health. 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, cause damage to your hearing. The result of this exposure is loss of hearing. This type of hearing loss has no cure.

There is no cure, though this type of hearing loss can be effectively managed. 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 basic adjustments, you can enjoy your summer fun and protect your hearing health.

Is summer really that noisy?

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

  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is a perfect time for home improvement projects. But power tools, in general, are often quite loud. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you utilize these tools.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can harm your hearing, especially at events such as auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Fireworks events: Summer has lots of fireworks. They occur at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. But fireworks shows are definitely loud enough to cause irreversible hearing damage.
  • Driving: Taking 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 hard on your ears. And the risk becomes dramatically worse the longer you are exposed.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they’re outside concerts. These events are, after all, meant to be quite loud.
  • Routine lawn care: This might include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. These tools have really loud powerful motors. Motors that run on electricity rather than gas are usually much quieter, though.

Generally speaking, sounds louder than 85dB are considered to be harmful. This is around the volume of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds might not seem especially loud so this is significant to note. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t cause damage.

How can I prevent noise-related hearing loss?

Noise-related hearing loss impacts millions of people every year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can occur at any age. Prevention is significant for this precise reason. Here are some of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • Wear hearing protection: If you can’t avoid loud environments (or don’t want to miss out on certain enjoyable activities), you can get a set of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. Wear this hearing protection whenever you need to, when you are in environments that are noisy. This can help prevent damage. 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 attended a loud fireworks display, make sure your next day is a quiet one. Additional and more substantial damage can be avoided by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recover.
  • 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 substantial hearing damage.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a rest by simply reducing the volume on your devices. When everything is loud all the time, damage can advance more quickly.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really noisy, 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 example, go and spend some time in a quieter area.
  • 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. Even your earbuds and headphones can begin to do damage at these volume levels. You can become more conscious of when volume levels start to get too loud by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss typically doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It could take years to detect in many instances. Frequently, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-induced hearing loss is to have your hearing examined. We’ll be able to talk about how to counter additional damage, which treatment solutions may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

Noise-related hearing loss isn’t unavoidable. You’re hearing can be maintained by utilizing prevention strategies. You can safeguard your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the correct 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.