Summer is Hear 😉
The kids are out of school and the weather is hot. There are many summer activities we all love, but it’s important to know that some of them can contribute to hearing loss. Typically, hearing loss is the result of exposure and time. Limiting exposure to loud noises over time will help maintain your hearing throughout your life. When it comes to protecting your hearing, it’s important to find moderation. You can attend summer activities that include high decibel sound, but also take steps to protect your hearing.
Fourth of July Fireworks
It wouldn’t be summer without celebrating the Fourth of July. But just because the bells of liberty are ringing, it doesn’t mean you have to damage your hearing. At the end of the day, fireworks are explosions, made with the same gunpowder that was used in early munitions. Fireworks can easily exceed 150 decibels (dB). Is that a lot? Yes! For reference, a jet taking off from an aircraft carrier is about 130 dB to 140 dB You know for a fact that the proud men and women of the US Navy, who are sworn to protect the very country we’re celebrating on July 4th, are protecting their ears with military standard issue ear protection. So, if it makes sense for them, it should make sense for you.
If bulky ear muffs or noise cancelling headphones aren’t for you, and you’d like something a little more effective than those options, we offer custom earplugs that form to your ear. They’re far more discreet than the general use foam earplugs, and they’ll stay in your ear.
We also offer effective non-custom earplugs too. Ask your audiologist for more information, and find out which option is best for you.
In the hot days of summer, nothing feels better than jumping into some cool water. But have you ever gone swimming, and hours (or even days) later you still feel water in your ear? It’s an odd sensation. Water, even in treated pools, can contain many different microorganisms, some of which are potentially harmful.
Children, with their growing ear canals, can often be susceptible to ear infections. Infections can lead to ear damage, especially if they go untreated. Common signs of ear infections are ear pain, drainage of fluid from the ear, fever, trouble sleeping, loss of balance, and headache, among other symptoms. Wearing inexpensive earplugs will help avoid the headache (both literally and figuratively). Oh, and of course, custom swim plugs will be far less likely to accidentally float out of your ear. Something we’d be happy to help with.
Summer Construction Projects
The weather is fine, so it’s time to build that shed, treehouse or gazebo you’ve dreamed of adding to your home. Yet, power tools are noisy. Not just saws, but any tool with an engine, including lawn care tools like mowers, blowers, and trimmers.
Professionals wear hard hats, steel-toed boots and – you guessed it – ear plugs. Do you think an amateur builder needs to be less safety conscious than a professional? If anything, they should be more safety conscious, since they lack the experience of a professional. Besides, you’ll want to hear all the congratulations from your family when the job is done and not have to say, “WHAT?”
Being Out on the Water
Whether it’s a yacht, a fishing boat, a jet ski, or a fan boat, being out on the water doesn’t mean you need to chip away at your ability to hear. Engines, especially two-stroke engines, create enough noise to make ear protection a good precaution.
A boat engine idling is about 60 dB, which isn’t much to worry about. You can hear people talking at that level. But going full throttle, that noise can climb into the 90s – or with some older two-stroke engines – into the low 100s. For reference, a jackhammer is about 98 dB. Think of the last time you saw someone operating a jackhammer. Were they wearing ear protection? They should be.
Obviously, the closer you are to the engine, the louder it is. If no ear protection is available, riding up in the bow, away from engine, is one way to lessen the noise, and you get the nicest view!
Just a general reminder that there are plenty of events in the summer that regularly exceed recommended decibel levels. Think about stock car races, air shows, concerts. Threats to your long-term hearing are everywhere. Maybe you’re at a public event with a PA system. Do you need to be right next to the stereo speaker? Probably not. A small set of ear plugs can fit neatly inside any small bag or purse. And if you’re interested in getting a custom set from us, we’re happy to help. We even have custom sets that provide volume control, making it easier to move between activities. Just one of the many benefits of seeing a pro audiologist!
If you’d like to schedule an appointment for a general consultation, or to learn more about our custom hearing protection options, click here.
Until then, enjoy the summer weather. We can’t wait to hear about it!