Check out these seasonal hearing protection tips for the warmer months ahead.
With spring and summer weather comes outdoor barbecues, festivals, fireworks, and lawn equipment, all common culprits of noise-induced hearing loss. Millions of people experience hearing loss due to exposure to unsafe decibel levels, often without even knowing it. By following a few simple safety tips, you can help protect your hearing this season. Consider these seasonal hearing protection tips for the warmer months ahead:
- Take a break
- Schedule routine hearing tests
- Use earplugs, earmuffs, or headphones
- Keep your distance
- Mind the volume
Keep reading to learn more about each of these tips to protect your hearing from spring and summer sounds.
Take a break
Protecting your ears from over-exposure to loud noises doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying all that summer has to offer. When surrounded by loud music, lawn mowers or leaf blowers, or other loud sounds, remember to take a break every 60 minutes or so if you’re unable to avoid them. With sounds over 85 decibels, such as motorcycles, machinery, concerts, and firecrackers, you’ll want to limit exposure even more – and once you get up past 115dB, there’s no safe amount of time to listen without ear protection.
Heading to a concert this summer? With concerts averaging 100 to 120dB, you’ll want to review these concert hearing protection tips beforehand.
Schedule routine hearing tests
Checking in with your audiologist or other hearing healthcare professional before attending a noisy summer event is another helpful hearing protection tip. They can help determine your baseline hearing level and suggest ways to protect yourself like custom-fitted ear protection.
Use earplugs, earmuffs, or headphones
When operating a lawn mower or other warm-weather machinery, always use hearing protection. Earmuffs, noise-cancelling headphones, and other gadgets that can help protect your hearing will allow you to get summer chores done without causing damage to your ears.
Keep your distance
When at outdoor summer events, keep a safe distance from music stages and speakers, firework displays, and other loud festival sounds. Staying back at least 500 feet ensures you limit exposure to these potentially dangerous sounds, while still being able to enjoy the event. If the sounds at that distance cause ear pain, ringing in the ears, or you are struggling to hear your friends at close range, it’s a good idea to step back even further or remove yourself from the situation.
Mind the volume
When listening to music in your free time, a good rule of thumb is to keep the volume of your device below the half-way mark. Consider opting for over-the-ear headphones instead of earbuds that can be more damaging because of their proximity to the ear canal and the natural amplification they create.
If you aren’t sure how loud is too loud, consider using a smartphone app such as Sound Check to measure the volume. Anything above 85dB could put you at risk for noise-induced hearing loss.
These tips to protect your hearing are simple to implement and can help ensure you have a safe and fun summer ahead. Find more hearing health tips for your life on our blog.