Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, 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. And while most of these activities are safe, many can present invisible risks to your hearing health. Over time, the loud noises that come with some of these experiences can lead to permanent hearing damage. A loud motorcycle engine or the roar of a crowd could be contributing to long-term, noise-induced hearing loss.

What is noise-induced hearing loss? This condition occurs 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.

Although this type of hearing loss has no cure, it can be successfully managed. Over the long run, you can safeguard your hearing and prevent damage by being aware of common sources of loud noise and formulating 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 quite easy to miss noise risks during the summer months. Here are some of the most common and also most hazardous:

  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. The powerful motors in many of these mechanical tools are very loud. It’s worth pointing out that totally electric motors are often quieter.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, especially at events like auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Fireworks events: Many areas have fireworks displays monthly or more during the summer. They happen at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Unfortunately, fireworks are incredibly loud and can definitely cause damage to your hearing.
  • 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. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you are exposed.
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is an ideal time for home improvement projects. But power tools, in general, are typically quite loud. The more you utilize these tools, the more your hearing hazard increases.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they are outdoor concerts. After all, these events are planned to be as loud as possible.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage starts to happen is about 85 dB. The average hair dryer, blender, or lawnmower is around this volume. That’s important to be aware of because these sounds may 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 affected by hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can happen at any age, unlike age-related hearing loss. That’s why prevention is so important. Here are some of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You might be surprised at just how fast sounds can increase above that 85dB danger zone level. 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 high by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a pair of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or are not willing to avoid certain loud situations. When you are in settings that are too noisy, use this protection to your advantage. This can help prevent damage. Custom hearing protection devices personalized to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: The louder the environment, the more you should regulate your time. This can help protect against long-term damage to your ears. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a loud sporting event, for instance, go and spend some time in a quieter spot.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Utilizing disposable earplugs might 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 pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant hearing damage.
  • 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 recover. Damage will advance more rapidly if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Get your hearing checked: Sometimes, hearing loss creeps up on you very gradually. Many people won’t notice the symptoms for months or years. Getting your hearing checked can help you identify whether you have noise-related hearing loss. We’ll be able to discuss how to avoid further damage, which treatment solutions might be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • 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. This can give your ears more time to recover and prevent further and more substantial damage.

You don’t need to resign yourself to having 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 right strategy.

Begin your journey towards better hearing by contacting us 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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