Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

From sporting events to family gatherings to fireworks displays to motorcycle rides, summer is filled with enjoyable activities. Most 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 harm your ability to hear. A loud motorcycle engine or the roar of a crowd could be contributing to long-term, noise-related hearing loss.

Over time, really loud noises can trigger damage to your ears. As a result, you experience hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss is irreversible.

There is no cure, but this form of hearing loss can be successfully controlled. Increasing your awareness of these common loud noises can help you better control risks and develop prevention strategies, so you can protect your hearing over the long run. You can protect the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by utilizing a few basic adjustments.

Is summer actually that noisy?

It can be really easy to miss noise risks during the summer months. Some of the most prevalent hazardously loud noises include the following:

  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are ideal activities during the summer. But it’s important to remember that all of those power tools can be rather noisy. Your hearing health is in increasing danger the more you use these tools.
  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. The powerful motors in most of these mechanical tools are incredibly loud. Motors that run on electricity instead of gas are usually quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Loud concerts: Even outside concerts present substantial risks to your hearing health. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.
  • Driving: Going for a Sunday drive is very popular, but the wind rushing into your windows (or all around you if you’re driving a convertible) can be tough on your ears. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you’re exposed.
  • Fireworks events: Many places have fireworks displays monthly or more during the summer. 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: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, especially at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.

Generally speaking, sounds louder than 85dB are considered to be harmful. The average hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is around this volume. That’s important to note because these sounds might not seem particularly noisy. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t result in damage.

How can I prevent noise-related hearing loss?

Every year, millions of individuals are impacted by hearing loss. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can occur at any age. Prevention is important for this precise reason. Here are a few of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Using disposable earplugs may not be as reliable as customized earplugs but, in a pinch, they’re better than no protection at all. An inexpensive pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent considerable damage if you find yourself in a loud environment all of a sudden.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you cannot avoid noisy situations (or don’t want to miss out on certain fun activities), you can get a pair of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. Use this hearing protection when you need to, when you are in situations that are loud. This can help prevent damage. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be particularly effective.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really noisy, you need to regulate your exposure time. This can help avoid long-term damage to your ears. If you’re at a loud sporting event, for instance, walk to a quieter area every thirty minutes or so.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You may be surprised at just how quickly sounds can increase above that 85dB danger zone volume. At these volume levels, even your headphones or earbuds can rapidly begin damaging your ears. You can become more conscious of when volume levels begin to get too high by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): Spend a quieter next day after going to a fireworks display. Additional and more significant damage can be prevented by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recuperate.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss normally doesn’t happen all of a sudden. Many individuals won’t notice the symptoms for months or years. Frequently, the only way to determine whether you have any noise-related hearing loss is to get your hearing examined. We will help you comprehend how to keep your hearing healthy for years to come and discuss treatment options for any hearing loss you may already have.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Your ears can get a break by simply reducing the volume on your devices. Damage will develop faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.

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

Start your journey towards better hearing by giving us a call for an appointment.

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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.
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