As spring turns into summer, the nights are getting longer and the danger to your ears increases. Below is a look at some of our best tips to help keep your ears safe this summer.
How Noise Can Harm Your Hearing
Sounds are measured in decibels, and anything over 85 dB can cause damage to the tiny hairs within the inner ear. These hair cells are responsible for converting soundwaves into electrical impulses, which are sent to the brain through the auditory nerve to be processed as sound.
Understanding which noises can put your ears at risk is crucial for your protection. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) put together this list of the average decibel ratings of some familiar sounds:
- Normal conversation: 60-70 dB.
- Movie theater: 74-104 dB.
- Motorcycles: 80-110 dB.
- Concerts: 94-110 dB.
- Police sirens: 110-129 dB.
- Fireworks: 140-160 dB.
Wear Hearing Protection
Mowing the lawn and summer go together like pool sides and popsicles. While maintaining your home and yard is important, make sure you are wearing proper hearing protection when working outside. Earplugs and earmuffs can help protect your ears from the high decibel sounds coming from your power tools.
Maintain Your Distance
With the end of the pandemic in sight, more and more people will be filling their summer days with outdoor concerts and festivals. While out enjoying yourself, pay attention to how close you are standing to the speakers. The sound coming out of the speakers can cause damage almost immediately.
We recommend staying at least 500 feet back. This distance allows you to enjoy the event while also limiting your exposure to dangerously loud sounds.
Pay Attention to the Volume
While spending more time outside, going for a walk at Hermann Park and enjoying the nice weather, it is common to listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks through headphones. In addition to opting for an over-the-ear headphone style rather than an earbud, you should practice the 60:60 rule: listen at only 60% of maximum volume for only 60 minutes at a time.
To learn more about protecting your hearing this summer or to schedule appointment with a hearing expert, contact Hearing Systems today.