Discover hearing protection tips to help you embrace the sounds of autumn.
The weather is cooler, and the leaves are starting to change colors. Fall is almost upon us, and with it comes seasonal activities like autumn festivals, hunting, and football games. As you enjoy your favorite outdoor activities and events, we encourage you to care for your hearing health as you experience the sounds of autumn. Here are a few hearing protection tips to consider in the fall season:
- Leave the leaf blowing to the professionals
- Use hearing protection at football games and festivals
- Maximize ear protection if hunting
- Take breaks in noisy environments
- Talk to your audiologist about custom hearing protection
Learn more about these tips on how to protect your hearing this fall below.
Leave the leaf blower to the professionals
The sounds from leaf blowers and lawnmowers can damage your hearing if you aren’t careful. Because the average gas-powered leaf blower can generate noise up to 102 decibels (dB), experts recommend leaving it to the professionals. If you prefer to do it yourself, be sure to wear high-quality earplugs or another hearing protection device when using noisy tools in the yard.
Use earplugs at football games and festivals
Cheering fans, noisemaking devices, and half-time shows contribute to making football one of the noisiest fall pastimes. According to research, the average NFL game generates sound levels around 90dB. Safe exposure time in this environment before permanent hearing damage could occur in under four hours. Some outdoor fall festivals could also reach similar noise readings, especially if there is live music at the event.
To safely enjoy your favorite games and events at these elevated sound levels, use protective earmuffs or foam earplugs. Traditional foam earplugs are inexpensive and can be found at most stores. Be sure to explore the shapes and sizes offered to ensure you find one that properly fits with a snug seal. Review how to properly wear foam earplugs here or talk to your audiologist about a custom fit.
Maximize ear protection if hunting
Fall is hunting season in many parts of the country. Along with other safety precautions necessary to participate in this sport, hearing protection is a must. A gunshot can register up to 140dB, well above safe noise levels that max out around 80dB. At this intensity, a single trigger pull has the potential to cause immediate hearing damage. Whether you’re at a shooting range or out in the wild, look for earplugs or earmuffs with the highest noise reduction rating (NRR) rating you can find – up to 33 for earplugs and 31 for earmuffs. You may also consider using both products together for an even higher degree of hearing protection.
Take breaks in noisy environments
Limiting your exposure to loud autumn sounds is critical to protecting your ears. If you find yourself in a noisy environment like a football game, concert, or festival, try to take a break every sixty minutes. Remember that once sound levels climb beyond 115dB, there’s no longer a safe amount of time to listen without adequate hearing protection.
If you’re looking for things to do in autumn that are safe for your hearing, review our list of fall activities for seniors to help spark a few ideas.
Talk to your audiologist about custom hearing protection
Our final tip on how to protect your hearing this fall involves checking in with your audiologist or other hearing healthcare professional. They can provide you with ways to protect yourself from the sounds of the season through custom-fitted ear protection and perform a complete routine hearing test. This exam can help determine your base hearing level so your doctor can reference it later when comparing future test results. Safeguarding your hearing as early as possible can help you to protect it in the long-term.
These hearing protection tips for fall can help you safely enjoy the activities that autumn brings. Head to our blog for more articles on hearing loss and hearing loss prevention.
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