Did you know that common sounds of summer, from fireworks to concerts, can trigger hearing loss? It’s true. Sure, we all love the dog days of summer: vacations, beaches, barbecues, pools, family and friends. The weather is great and the kids are off school, offering a perfect time to take in concerts, races and fireworks displays. However, be aware that there are several loud noises that you’re exposed to during the summer months that can cause hearing loss. Here we examine the most common summer sounds that can lead to hearing damage and what can be done about it.
At the top of the list is a fireworks display. These fun outings at the beach or a park can be immensely entertaining, but get too close to the staging area and you could experience hearing loss thanks to the 150 decibels of noise each boom makes. Take a few steps back and watch them from a distance instead to protect your ears and especially those of small children. If not, significant hearing loss can result.
Summer concerts, whether at outdoor stages or indoor arenas, are a great way to take in the latest music from your favorite bands. However, the speakers and sound systems these bands utilize can seriously damage a young adult’s hearing. Because hearing loss can occur at decibel levels over 85, protecting your hearing at a rock concert is imperative, with an incredible 115 decibels produced — definitely enough to cause permanent hearing damage.
If you live in a busy neighborhood, you’ve probably been woken up by the constant drone of a lawn mower or chain saw. Even though you don’t realize it, the constant hum of these noises can create the perfect storm for long-term damage to your hearing, thanks to prolonged exposure to the 100 or more decibels these machines can produce.
Sporting events bring their own brand of noise, what with the constant roar of the crowd cheering on the home team. While hearing loss can certainly occur at baseball games, the real culprit is race car driving. While it may be exciting to watch the cars zip around the track, the noises they produce – up to 115 decibels with each roar — can lead to total temporary hearing loss and long-term hearing injuries.
Guard Against Hearing Loss
You shouldn’t have to hide like a hermit this summer to avoid these hearing loss-inducing events, but there are certainly things you can do to guard against hearing damage. First, don’t spend a lot of prolonged time at events with lots of loud noises. Stay for half the concert or sit way in the back away from speakers. Mowing the lawn? Do it in short bursts at a time or wear protective noise-cancelling head phones. Limiting your exposure can mean the difference between healthy ears and hearing damage. Second, use ear plugs. These are great at reducing the amount of noise your sensitive ears are exposed to in noisy public areas. Many concert venues sell them as well as your local pharmacy. Decrease your chances of incurring hearing loss through these preventive actions.