The summer season brings a wealth of outdoor activities that are often spent with family and friends. Although enjoyable, and arguably the best time of the year, there are a few things to consider to keep your hearing healthy and safe.
Loudness Levels and Time
First, let’s review sound pressure levels and durations of exposure that may cause hearing issues. Sounds like hair dryers, lawn mowers and tractors range between 85-90 dBA and can be harmful if exposed over an extended period of time, from 1 up to 8 hours. Sounds greater than 90 dBA – like concerts, sirens and fireworks - increase the risk of hearing damage in a much shorter time, often in 15 minutes or less depending on the intensity.
Summer of Sound
Since loud noises cannot always be avoided, it's best to limit the exposure to them. The less time you spend listening to loud noises, the better; but with musicians like Billy Joel and Sting, or bands like Def Leppard and ZZ Top touring in Summer 2022, it’s hard to say no and completely avoid these great musical performances. If your tickets are already purchased to one or more of these events, pack a pair of ear plugs or foam inserts to reduce your exposure. If you forget your earplugs, no problem! Simply increase your distance from the stage to minimize the direct sound that can reach your ears.
Even while listening to music through your headphones, take heed of the volume levels. If using headphones to listen to music on an iPhone® or iPad®, there are now Headphone Notifications implemented with iOS 14, designed to warn you of music that’s too loud over extended periods of time.
Independence Day – and More
Although the 4th of July holiday is over, there will be plenty opportunities to hear and see fireworks. From ballgames to county fairs, those bright lights illuminating the sky are often accompanied by loud bangs and explosions. If you’re venturing with family to Disney World this year, you can catch a special 50th Anniversary Celebration that includes synchronized lights, music, and spectacular fireworks. At any of these showcases, bring ear protection like earmuffs for the little ones. It’s always a good idea to stay more than 100 feet away from the launch point. Fireworks can produce peak sound pressure levels of 100 dB and even greater low-frequency levels.
Prevention and Testing
No matter the scenario, keep hearing protection a top-of-mind priority to limit your risk of hearing damage. Unfortunately, hearing loss cannot be reversed, but it can be remedied with the help of a trained professional. Early intervention is key to maintaining an enjoyable quality of life, so don’t wait to seek help.
If you think your exposure to loud sound has impacted your hearing, get a hearing test. Make an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional who can diagnose your hearing loss and explain how Sonic makes Everyday Sounds Better!