Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Tactics to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Princeton Otolaryngology Associates: Dr. Scott L. Kay | Hearing Loss Articles

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The typical summer day is usually filled with fun activities and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family reunions to fireworks to sporting events. Most of these activities are perfectly safe and healthy, but some do come with a risk of noise-related hearing loss. That’s because loud noises, over time, can damage your ability to hear. A loud motorcycle engine or the roar of a crowd could be causing long-term, noise-induced hearing loss.

What is noise-induced hearing loss? This condition happens when excessively loud noises, over time, cause damage to your hearing. As a result, you experience hearing loss. Noise-related hearing loss is effectively permanent.

Although this kind of hearing loss can’t be cured, it can be successfully treated. Raising your awareness of these common loud noises can help you better control risks and establish prevention strategies, so you can safeguard your hearing over the long run. You can protect the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by using a few simple adjustments.

Is summer really that noisy?

Summer may be one of those times of year where noise hazards are easiest to overlook. Here are a few of the most prevalent and also most hazardous:

  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach harmful volumes in your ears and this is even more pertinent if you drive a convertible. This is particularly true if the sound happens for long intervals without breaks.
  • Routine lawn care: This might include using lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and weed wackers. These tools have very loud powerful motors. It’s worth pointing out that entirely electric motors are usually quieter.
  • Sporting events: Crowd noise can damage your hearing, especially at events such as auto racing or monster truck rallies.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are perfect activities during the summer. But it’s crucial to keep in mind that all of those power tools can be quite noisy. Your hearing health is in increasing danger the more you utilize these tools.
  • Fireworks events: Many areas have fireworks displays every month or more during the summer. They take place at holiday celebrations, sporting events, and impromptu neighborhood gatherings. Unfortunately, fireworks are extremely loud and can certainly cause damage to your ears.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they are outside concerts. These events are, after all, meant to be quite loud.

In general, sounds above 85dB are considered to be damaging. This is about the range of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. These sounds may not seem particularly loud so this is significant to note. But that doesn’t mean that such volumes won’t result in damage.

Preventing noise-induced hearing damage

Noise-induced hearing loss effects millions of people every year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can occur at any age. Prevention is significant for this exact reason. Here are a few of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • 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 begin to do damage at these volume levels. You can become more conscious of when volume levels begin to get too loud by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • 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 hearing. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a noisy sporting event, for example, go and spend some time in a less noisy area.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as reliable as more customized types, but they’re much better than nothing! If you find yourself suddenly in a noisy environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a set of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand in case you can’t or aren’t willing to avoid certain loud situations. When you’re in settings that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. Damage can be avoided in this way. You can be particularly benefited by making use of hearing protection costume made for you.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply lowering the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some rest and a chance to recuperate. Damage will advance faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a loud volume.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss typically doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It could take years to detect in many instances. Having your hearing checked can help you identify whether you have noise-induced hearing loss. We’ll be able to talk about how to counter additional damage, which treatment options may 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): Spend a quieter next day after attending a fireworks display. This can give your ears more time to recuperate and avoid further and more significant damage.

You don’t need to resign yourself to having noise-related hearing loss. You’re hearing can be maintained by utilizing prevention strategies. With the proper approach, you can enjoy all that summer, or any other season, has to offer and protect your hearing.

Consulting with us can help begin your journey towards healthier ears and better hearing. Call today for an appointment!

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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