Florida Hearing Matters - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

The typical summer day is likely filled with fun experiences and happenings, from motorcycle rides to family outings to fireworks to sporting events. And while the majority of these activities are healthy, many can present invisible risks to your hearing health. 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 causing long-term, noise-induced hearing loss.

What is noise-related hearing loss? This condition occurs when overly loud noises, over time, cause damage to your hearing. The result of this exposure is loss of hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is effectively permanent.

There is no cure, though this form of hearing loss can be effectively controlled. Increasing your awareness of these common loud noises can help you better control risks and establish 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 using a few basic adjustments.

Is summer really that noisy?

It can be very easy to overlook noise hazards during the summer months. Some of the most prevalent dangerously loud noises include the following:

  • Routine lawn care: Included in this category are chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. These tools have very loud powerful motors. It’s worth noting that totally electric motors are often quieter.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach hazardous volumes in your ears and this is even more significant if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you’re exposed.
  • Fireworks events: Summer is full of fireworks. From neighborhood parties to holiday celebrations to sporting events, fireworks displays are everywhere during the summer months. Unfortunately, fireworks are extremely loud and can certainly cause damage to your hearing.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they are outdoor concerts. After all, these events are designed to be as loud as possible.
  • 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, including a Nascar race or monster truck rally).
  • Routine use of power tools: Summer is an excellent time for home improvement projects. But power tools, in general, are often quite loud. Your hearing health is in increasing risk the more you utilize these tools.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage begins to happen is around 85 dB. This is about the volume of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. That’s important to take note of because these sounds may not feel particularly noisy. But the volume of these devices can cause hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-related hearing damage

Noise-induced hearing loss effects millions of individuals 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 some of the most practical prevention strategies:

  • 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. Additional and more substantial damage can be prevented by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recuperate.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply lowering the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some quiet and a chance to recover. When everything is loud all the time, damage can progress more quickly.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Making use of disposable earplugs may not be as reliable as customized earplugs but, in a pinch, they’re better than no protection at all. If you find yourself suddenly in a noisy environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent significant hearing damage.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: 85 dB may not seem like a lot, but you would probably 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. You can become more conscious of when volume levels begin to get too high by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • Wear hearing protection: Keep a set of ear plugs or ear muffs handy in case you can’t or aren’t willing to avoid specific noisy situations. Use this hearing protection when you need to, when you are in situations that are loud. Damage can be avoided in this way. Custom hearing protection devices tailored to your ears and your hearing can be especially effective.
  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss usually doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It could take years to notice in many circumstances. Often, the only way to find out whether you have any noise-induced hearing loss is to get your hearing checked. We’ll be able to go over how to prevent additional damage, which treatment options may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really noisy, you need to regulate your exposure time. Your ears can be safeguarded from long-term damage in this way. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a noisy sporting event, for example, go and spend some time in a quieter area.

Noise-induced hearing loss is not unavoidable. You’re hearing can be preserved by utilizing prevention strategies. You can protect your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the proper strategy.

Begin 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.