As Kenny Chesney would say, summertime is finally here! That means the sun is shining and everyone will be spending more time in the great outdoors. It’s the prime time for attending outdoor concerts, parades, fireworks, festivals and sporting events. Of course all of these events are fun, but remember you are susceptible to hearing loss due to the loud noises. Hearing loss caused by loud noises at summer events can be permanent and non-reversible. Protecting your hearing may be the last thing on your mind, but there are some easy ways to prevent hearing loss.
1. Bring Ear Protection
Would you go to the beach without bringing sunscreen, or ride your bike without a helmet? I don’t think so! Stash a few pairs of earplugs in your purse/backpack or in your car ahead of time, so that when the time comes for a fun outdoor activity with probable noise, you’ll be prepared!
2. Walk Away
If for some reason you forgot your earplugs at home, simply walk away. Keep a safe distance from the loud speaker blaring this summer’s top hits, or the drummer who is really into his solo. Keep at least a 25ft or more between you and the noise source.
3. Limit Yourself
Try to limit the time spent. You get to a concert with your friends and it’s much louder than expected. You could tell your friends you have to leave early or just arrive fashionably late to shave off some time. Or give your ears a break by retreating to a concession stand or going to the restroom. Prolonged exposure to loud noise could cause permanent damage.
According to the NIDCD (National Institute of Deafness and other Common Disorders), hearing loss can be caused at 85 decibels or more. To put this into perspective, here are some examples of common sounds you may experience during summertime fun:
- 120dB – Concert/ Sports Game
- 130dB – Fireworks
- 140dB - Firearms
- 88dB – City traffic
- 90dB – Lawnmower
- 97dB – Motorcycle
- 100dB – iPod/ iPhone