Summer is finally here, and it’s time for all those things we’ve been looking forward to: trips to the beach, relaxing by the pool, and…damaged hearing?
That’s right – summer holds a lot of hidden dangers to your hearing, either from loud noises or the environmental situations you might find yourself in. Any sounds above 80 decibels can cause damage to your hearing, while permanent hearing loss can take hold in pools or other bodies of water. To keep your hearing safe this summer, you need to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions.
Read on to discover the summer’s six hidden dangers to your hearing.
Wear hearing protection at concerts
Summer is concert season, but even if you’re in an outdoor arena, you still need to take care of your hearing. Live music can reach over 90 decibels, even at outdoor concerts, which is within the danger zone of hearing loss. That’s why it’s always a good idea to wear earplugs whether you’re seeing a show indoors or outdoors. Earplugs dampen the sound while still allowing you to hear and enjoy the music. If you’re bringing young children to a concert, consider getting them a heavy-duty pair of earmuffs since their hearing is much more sensitive than those of adults.
Fireworks are more than just loud
Honestly, there are a lot of reasons to avoid fireworks in the summer. We’re not talking about the professional 4th of July displays – we mean the backyard fireworks that cause hundreds of injuries during the summer. In addition to causing hand injuries, blindness, and house fires, backyard fireworks can also cause serious damage to your hearing since they’re known to reach decibel levels of 155. On this 4th of July, leave the fireworks to the professionals and enjoy the show from a safe and sound distance.
Lawnmowers can cause hearing loss
If you’re serious about your lawn, chances are you’re out there every week on your lawnmower, using your edger, and trimming your bushes. But have you ever noticed how off your ears feel after you get done, making everything sound muffled? That’s because the constant noise from your lawn tools have a slow and steady impact on your hearing. You’ve probably noticed lawn professionals wearing some form of hearing protection – you should take a cue from them and wear earmuffs or earplugs next time you take care of your lawn to ensure your hearing stays healthy.
Pools and beaches – what you need to do to protect your ears
Millions of people suffer from swimmer’s ear each summer, which occurs when bacteria-laden water becomes trapped in your ear canal. The bacteria then infect the ear, leading to painful earaches and swelling. These bacteria are usually found in rivers and lakes but could also live in pools and hot tubs if the water is not properly treated. As long as you have your ears treated by a hearing specialist you should be fine, and no permanent hearing loss will occur. To prevent swimmer’s ear, though, you should wear special swimming earplugs in the pool and have your pool water tested to make sure the chemical balance is safe.
Boats and other water sports
Summertime is a breath of freedom for the people who love to be out on the water, smelling the salt air of the ocean or the fresh breeze of the lake. But, boat and jet ski engines can be loud– we’re talking more than 100 decibels. Sustained exposure to that kind of noise for a period of about 15 minutes can lead to permanent hearing damage. Again, it’s probably in your best interests to wear a pair of disposable, foam earplugs while you’re out on the water to make sure you don’t inadvertently damage your hearing.
Car races can hurt your hearing
It doesn’t matter what kind of auto racing you enjoy – stock cars, midgets, motorcycles, drag racing, Formula 1 – all of them can present a huge problem for your hearing if you go to race after race during the summer. It’s estimated that sound levels can go over 120 decibels at certain races, which is definitely in the danger zone for hearing damage. Earplugs are your best friends at these races, while your kids should probably wear the earmuffs we mentioned earlier. Otherwise, you might not get to enjoy the sound of those engines in the future.