Strategies to Prevent Noise-Induced 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 outings to fireworks to sporting events. Most of these activities are perfectly 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. 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 happens when excessively loud noises, over time, trigger damage to your hearing. The result of this exposure is loss of hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is effectively irreversible.

Although this type of hearing loss can’t be cured, it can be effectively managed. Raising your awareness of these common loud noises can help you better manage 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 summer actually that noisy?

It can be quite easy to miss noise hazards during the summer months. Here are some of the most prevalent and also most harmful:

  • Loud concerts: Even outside concerts have considerable risks 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 it’s important to keep in mind that all of those power tools can be quite noisy. The more you use these tools, the more your hearing hazard increases.
  • Fireworks events: Summer has lots of fireworks. They occur at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Unfortunately, fireworks are extremely loud and can certainly cause damage to your ears.
  • Sporting events: Any time you’re in noisy crowds, you may 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).
  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have extremely loud powerful motors. It’s worth noting that purely electric motors are often quieter.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach damaging volumes in your ears and this is even more pertinent if you drive a convertible. This is especially true if the sound occurs for long durations without breaks.

The volume level that’s considered to be where damage begins to happen is about 85 dB. This is around the range of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. That’s significant to take note of because these sounds might not seem particularly noisy. But the volume of these devices can result in hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

Every year, millions of people are impacted by hearing loss. Noise-related hearing loss can occur at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. Prevention is significant for this exact reason. Here are a few of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • 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 prevented by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recuperate.
  • 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 set of disposable earplugs can help prevent considerable damage if you find yourself in a loud environment all of a sudden.
  • Get your hearing checked: In some cases, hearing loss creeps up on you very gradually. Many people won’t notice the symptoms for months or years. Frequently, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-induced hearing loss is to have your hearing checked. We’ll be able to talk about how to counter further damage, which treatment solutions may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • 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 noisy sporting event, for example, go and spend some time in a quieter spot.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: 85 dB may not seem like a lot, but you would most likely be surprised how fast sounds can escalate above that minimum threshold. Even your earbuds and headphones can begin to do damage at these volume levels. There are many reliable apps available for smartphones that can help you monitor ambient noise levels, so you can be more mindful of when your surroundings become harmful to your hearing.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you can’t avoid noisy environments (or don’t want to miss out on particular fun activities), you can get a pair of good ear muffs or ear plugs. When you are in environments that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. This can help prevent damage. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be particularly effective.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply turning down the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some quiet and a chance to recuperate. When everything is loud all the time, damage can progress much faster.

You don’t need to resign yourself to getting noise-induced hearing loss. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. You can protect your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the correct strategy.

Start 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.