Sweet summer sounds are music to the ears: fireworks, sporting events, concerts and more. Celebrating the warm months can come at a cost, though: your hearing. While summer music festivals and sports are par for the course when it comes time to enjoy the season, keep in mind that many of these events involve high amounts of damaging noise. Hearing loss can occur from exposure to 85 decibels and up. If you don’t take steps to protect your hearing, you could be facing some serious long-term hearing damage thanks to those common summer sounds. Here’s what you can do about it.
Listening to your favorite bands play at a music festival is one of the best parts of summer. But did you know the typical rock concert will produce decibels of more than 115? This can hurt your hearing thanks to the sound systems that must project loud enough for those in the back to hear. You could risk permanent hearing damage if you sit too close to the speakers or fail to wear ear protection.
Another one of summer’s best sights is a fireworks display. Several national and local celebrations take place that punctuate their events by lighting off fireworks at the end of the night. These illuminations are pretty to watch but they do generate a lot of noise. Watch from a distance far from the staging area to avoid significant hearing loss. Why? Each boom is rated at 150 decibels.
We’ve all been aware of lawnmower noises originating around the neighborhood. The constant drone of the lawn mower and other lawn maintenance machines can pose a real threat to your hearing. These machines can easily emit at least 100 or more decibels, bringing about long-term damage to your hearing when exposed over a long period of time.
A baseball game is the perfect way to spend a summer day. Even so, the roar of the crowd can be deafening. So can a race, but the bad part is the car, not necessarily the people. Racing is the worst kind of sport you can think of when it comes to damaging your hearing in a serious way. Watching those race cars blare around the track is irresistible but you’re being exposed to 115 decibels or higher with every rev of the engine. You could pave the way for not only total temporary hearing loss but long-term hearing injuries as well.
Curb Exposure to Loud Noises
Explore ways to reduce your exposure to loud, prolonged noises by simply limiting your time at loud concerts, fireworks or sporting events. Stay in the back at concerts so you’re not close to the speakers. When you mow the lawn, don’t do it all at once over a couple of hours. Instead, take it in spurts. In addition to limiting exposure, always use ear plugs or head phones when you’ll be in loud areas for a long time. Many concert halls sell them, and your local pharmacy should stock a variety to protect your ears.