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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

All those fun summer outings you go on with family and friends – fireworks, concerts, sports events – can be revealing some dangers that could pose a threat to your hearing. While we’re not suggesting you ditch these fun summer traditions, you should be aware of the hearing loss possibilities associated with their loud sounds. The biggest threat is in being exposed to more than 85 decibels of noise, especially when that exposure occurs over a long period of time. Let’s review some common summer sounds and how you can protect your hearing when participating.

Fireworks

You probably love oohing and ahhing over fireworks with the kids, but don’t be fooled. Those booms each register more than 155 decibels, with the potential to seriously damage your hearing. Don’t get too close and always insist on wearing ear plugs, especially for the little ones. Avoiding significant hearing loss involves staying well clear of the staging area.

Sports Events

Who doesn’t love to take in a ball game? The roar of the crowd, the food, the players. What a fun night! However, while the roar of the excited fans is enough to cause hearing damage in young people, you really have to be concerned with other types of sporting events – mainly racing. These powerful cars can emit more than 115 decibels as they roar around the track to everyone’s delight. This can bring on temporary hearing loss and even long-term hearing conditions.

Concerts

Summer’s the perfect time to listen to music outdoors. Taking in a concert or music festival? Be aware that those speakers can produce loud noises registering up to 115 decibels and beyond. That’s because the sound system has to reach the people all the way in the back. You compound the risk for hearing damage when you sit right near the speakers. Instead, grab a seat towards the back or you could put yourself at risk for permanent damage to your ears.

Machine Noises

Who would think lawn mowers could cause hearing loss? It’s true, especially when engaging in prolonged exposure over many hours. The drone of lawn maintenance machines may be a common sound around your neighborhood each summer, but it could pose a risk thanks to the 100 or more decibels produced by these machines. Avoid long-term damage to your hearing by taking the proper precautions.

Hearing Protection Precautions

Your ears are precious commodities, so protect them when you can. Take a couple of necessary steps to guard against hearing loss from loud noises. This means, number one, you should never put yourself in a situation where you’re exposed for a long time to loud noises. Instead of staying the whole time at a music festival, only go for a short while, or sit way in the back. Second, be sure to use ear plugs when it’s clear you can’t avoid noisy crowds. You can buy them at the store or at arenas and concert venues. Take the proper precautions now so you don’t pay for it later in the form of hearing loss.