Summer Hearing Protection
Nathan Williams, Au.D., CCC-A, Audiologist
We often overlook and don't think about using hearing protection for leisure activities. The louder the sound, the less time you can listen to that sound before you start experience the consequences of any loud noises exposure.
Due to the immense loud pressure level impact noises such as fireworks and gunfire can cause immediate physical damage to your ear if unprotected.
Other activities such as mowing your lawn, using power tools, listening to music at loud levels and attending concerts may not have immediate impact on your hearing, however after prolonged exposure may cause hearing loss or ringing in your ears.
For children, loud sound is more of an impact for them simply based on the anatomy of their ear. Because the ear canal is smaller the sound pressure that is generated in that ear is greater and therefore the impact is much greater for a kid compared to an adult.
Remember this summer to protect you and your families hearing by practicing these healthy hearing habits.
Employ the 80 90 rule. Listen to music players at no more than 80 percent volume for no longer than 90 minutes in a given day. Use ear plugs or ear muffs when using power tools such as saws, sanders, nail guns, impact drivers and other drills. Also use ear plugs or ear muffs when tending your yard, and using lawn mowers leaf blowers and weed trimmers.
At fireworks displays or concerts, use hearing protection and sit farther away from where the firework is being launched or music is played.
Noise induced hearing loss is one hundred percent preventable so consider investing in one of these hearing protectors this summer.
Disposable roll down foam plugs can be purchased at any pharmacy or any grocery store. Ear muffs are more likely to be found at any sporting goods stores or online. And you may want to consider amplified ear muffs which allow for the ability to hear nearby children or any other environmental sound that you are listening for. Or consider scheduling an appointment with an audiologist to have a pair of custom made ear plugs that fit specifically for your ear.
If you experience any issues after these loud summer activities, contact Boys Town Audiology to have your hearing tested.
There are many leisure activities that can harm your hearing over the summer months. Nathan Williams, Au.D., CCC-A, audiologist at Boys Town National Research Hospital, explains what can harm your hearing and how your hearing can be protected.