Recently the girls of the Wesson Hearing Aid Center office went to see the group New Kids on the Block together for a night out of fun! They enjoyed each others company and reminisced about their youth and growing up in the 80s! It was a fun filled night but they were all a bit surprised by how loud it was and they were concerned that they had forgotten to bring ear plugs to protect their hearing. What were they thinking! Since the concert Dani, the office manager, has made sure to have several pairs of ear plugs with her at all times!
Keeping this in mind, even those who work in the hearing technology industry can forget to protect their ears! Whether you are attending a concert or shooting off fireworks with your neighbors in the street, you could be risking hearing damage. Let’s talk facts. Fireworks produce a sound output that reaches anywhere from 150 to 175 decibels and each year, many people experience some form of damage to their hearing as a result.
The distance you are from the fireworks affects the amount of damage they may have on your hearing — sound is less likely to harm your hearing the further you are from the firework explosion. You also may want to consider how loud the firework actually is — The World Health Organization recommends that adults not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure. For kids, the recommendation is 120 decibels. If the fireworks you are watching explode at around 170 decibels, you need to stand 15 to 20 meters away in order to be at a safe limit. Children need to stand 50 to 60 meters away from the same firework.
What can exposure to the loud fireworks do to you? The effects of loud sounds can range everywhere from tinnitus — ringing in the ears — to a temporary threshold shift with a slight decrease in hearing which usually lasts 24 hours, to permanent hearing loss. So how can you protect your ears?
Both at home fireworks or professional fireworks have the potential to damage your precious hearing, so ear protection is encouraged across the board! The most simple way to protect your hearing is via earplugs — there are two types of ear plugs that can be bought at your local drug store or super market. There are foam plugs that go into the ear or headphones that sit over the top of the ear. If you will be setting off fireworks or are watching nearby, both roll-down foam plugs and headphones are strongly recommended for maximum hearing protection.
At Wesson Hearing Aid Center we also have custom ear plugs for excellent hearing protection! Also, if you or someone you love suspects a change in hearing we recommend a free hearing screening. Although fireworks are exciting, it is important to realize they can be dangerous to your hearing. With the right precautions you and your loved ones can enjoy Independence Day without the fear of hearing loss!