As we move along into the lazy days of summer, there are a few tips to keep your hearing healthy. During these fun months there is a natural increase in loud noise exposure that can hurt or damage our hearing. Fireworks, concerts, driving with the windows down and cranking the radio volume, visiting theme parks with loud attractions, using chain saws, riding motorcycles, are just some of events that can raise the decibel level (the measure in which loudness is measured). If silence is measured at 0dB, and any sound over 85dB is dangerous, understanding a firecracker can produce sounds starting at 125 dB, we can start to assume that the risk of hearing damage at this range can be irreversible. Every year people experience some type of hearing loss as a direct result of fireworks.
What’s happening is the noise is overloading the tiny hair cells that are all ready vibrating. This is causing them to become damaged or die and you quickly develop sensorineural hearing loss and most common tinnitus. Please visit our site about for more information on tinnitus.
Some of the warning signs of exposure is pain in your ears after exposure to the loud noise, ringing or buzzing immediately after the exposure, difficulty in understanding people around you even though you can hear them. These warning signs then can lead to constant buzzing, ringing, and crackling, humming which can become bothersome and change your quality of life.
Although fireworks and all the fun sounds of summer are very exciting at the moment you’re in it, remember it can be dangerous to your ears. Take precautions, stop at the local pharmacy and pick up a pack of disposable ear plugs for the entire family, or for friends. Look out for others! Foam or silicone is usually available and you can still hear people and things going on around you. If you visit your Audiologist they can make custom ear plugs that fit snug and offer amazing protection from loud sounds that you can use over and over. Remember the importance of hearing health and conservation and celebrate smart!! Enjoy your summer!