Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The average summer day is usually filled with fun activities and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family outings to fireworks to sporting events. And while most of these activities are healthy, many can present invisible risks to your hearing health. Over time, the loud noises that accompany some of these activities can result in irreversible hearing damage. A loud motorcycle engine or the roar of a crowd could be contributing to long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

What is noise-related hearing loss? This condition happens when extremely loud noises, over time, trigger damage to your hearing. The result of this exposure is loss of hearing. Noise-related hearing loss is effectively irreversible.

There is no cure, but this type of hearing loss can be effectively controlled. Over the long run, you can safeguard your hearing and avoid damage by being aware of common sources of loud noise and developing prevention strategies. You can safeguard the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by making use of a few simple adjustments.

Is it actually that loud during the summer?

It can be very easy to overlook noise risks during the summer months. Here are some of the most common and also most hazardous:

  • 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 happens for long periods without breaks.
  • Routine lawn care: This category includes chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have very loud powerful motors. Motors that run on electricity rather than gas are normally quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is an ideal time for home improvement projects. But it’s important to keep in mind that all of those power tools can be rather noisy. Your hearing health is in increasing danger the more you utilize these tools.
  • Loud concerts: Even outside concerts present substantial hazards to your hearing health. After all, these events are designed to be as loud as possible.
  • Fireworks events: Summer is full of fireworks. From neighborhood get-togethers to holiday festivities to sporting events, fireworks displays are everywhere during the summer months. Unfortunately, fireworks are incredibly loud and can definitely cause damage to your hearing.
  • 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).

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage starts to happen is around 85 dB. This is about the range of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds might not seem especially loud so this is important to note. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t cause damage.

How can I prevent noise-related hearing loss?

Each year, millions of people are affected by hearing loss. Noise-related hearing loss can happen at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. Prevention is significant for this precise reason. Here are some of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as reliable as more customized types, but they’re far better than nothing! An inexpensive pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent considerable damage if you find yourself in a noisy setting all of a sudden.
  • 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. This can give your ears more time to recover and avoid further and more significant damage.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The louder the environment, the more you should regulate your 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 instance, go and spend some time in a quieter area.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a rest by simply turning down the volume on your devices. Damage will develop faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss normally doesn’t happen suddenly. Many people won’t detect the symptoms for months or years. Often, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-related hearing loss is to get your hearing examined. We’ll be able to talk about how to prevent additional damage, which treatment solutions might be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a set of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or are not willing to avoid specific loud situations. When you’re in locations that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. Damage can be avoided in this way. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • 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 increase above that minimum threshold. Even your earbuds and headphones can start to do damage at these volume levels. There are numerous dependable 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.

You don’t need to resign yourself to getting noise-induced hearing loss. Prevention strategies can help maintain your hearing. With the proper approach, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and safeguard your hearing.

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