With summer comes a chorus of sweet outdoor sounds, but not all of them are music to your ears. Lawn mowers, power tools, target shooting, concerts and fireworks all have one thing in common, the potential to damage your hearing. Prolonged exposure to sounds that measure above 85 decibels will cause irreversible hearing loss.

At Southwestern Hearing we know many noisy activities are part of summer fun. Too much of a good thing will eventually cause some of the more subtle sounds of summer to be gone forever. Behind old age, noise is the most common cause of hearing loss. Exposure to sounds over 85 dB will cause damage to your hearing loss after just a few hours.

Save Your Ears

Unlike age related hearing loss, noise induced hearing loss can be prevented if you are proactive. If you’d like to continue hearing the crickets chirp and birds sing for many summers to come follow these rules:

  • Wear earplugs. Whether you’re mowing the lawn, using a buzz saw, or attending a fireworks display a pair of disposable earplugs can do a lot to protect your hearing, while still allowing you to hear conversation if necessary. If you are around these loud sounds more frequently we recommend investing in custom earplugs available at our 45 locations.
  • Lower the volume. Enjoy music in your car or through your earbuds at a reasonable level. When you raise the volume to drown out other noise, you are damaging your ears.
  • Leave fireworks to professionals. A single bang from a firecracker at close range measures 130dB and can cause hearing loss and/or tinnitus in a split second. When attending a 4th of July fireworks display sit at a safe distance so you can enjoy the show, but aren’t exposed to the loud noise.
  • Reduce time spent in noisy environments. If you must attend a rock concert allow yourself some quiet time before and after.

When trying to decide if a noise is in the dangerous range, remember: if the person you are trying to talk to is within arm’s length and you have to shout to be heard, the noise is harmful. Think you may have damaged your hearing? It is important to visit a hearing specialist before you let it get worse.

Hearing Loss Warning Signs

Some signs you may have caused damage your hearing include:

  • Pain in your ears after leaving a noisy area
  • Hearing ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears immediately after exposure to noise.
  • Suddenly have difficulty understanding speech after exposure to noise; you can hear people talking but can’t understand them

Preventing damage is critical to preserving our hearing so enjoy the season and the holiday festivities but celebrate smart.