When the weather starts to warm up and the clouds from spring showers go away, the outdoors becomes more appealing for most people. Trips to the beach, grilling outdoors, amusement parks, and more become staples in many people’s lives. But did you know that some of our favorite outdoor activities can cause hearing damage if hearing protection is not worn?
What is hearing protection?
If you know you will be participating in an activity where loud noise is present, wearing hearing protection is the best practice for your hearing health. Hearing protection serves as a method of protecting the eardrum from sound waves. There are many different products that can be used to protect your hearing. Custom-fit earplugs provide the best hearing protection, but any protection is better than nothing at all.
What sounds do you hear every day that can cause hearing damage?
Being around moderately loud noises for short periods of time is not detrimental to your hearing, but extended exposure may lead to hearing loss in the long term. Noises at 70 dB for prolonged periods of time can cause damage to your hearing.
- Outdoor concerts have noise levels around 100 dB on average
- Lawn Mowers average 90 dB
- Motorcycles range from 63db to around 80dbd
Are there sounds that can cause immediate damage?
Yes, while some noises can cause damage to your hearing after prolonged periods of time, there are some common sounds that can lead to hearing damage in a short amount of time or in some cases, immediately. Noises at 120dB fall into that category. Below are some of the most common:
- Fireworks – 150 to 175 dB on average
- Maximum sound levels on personal devices – 105dB
- Sirens – 120 dB
Though these sounds might not cause damage during initial exposure there is a chance that repeating the behavior over time could increase the possibility that hearing loss may occur. If you know that you will be around these noises, hearing protection is important.
What are the signs of hearing loss?
Early signs of hearing loss vary from person to person. Here are some of the most common early indicators of hearing loss.
- Ringing in the ears
- Feeling like your ears are clogged or plugged
- Asking others to repeat themselves
- Turning up the volume on your devices higher than usual
If you find yourself or someone you know is showing signs of hearing loss, come in for a complimentary hearing assessment*! During the hearing assessment, both of your ears will be tested for hearing loss. Some people suffer hearing loss in both ears while others may experience hearing loss in only one ear.
*See store for details