July 7, 2023

It’s heating up out there and summer is in full swing! The kids are playing outside every day and outdoor events and activities are an everyday occurrence. It’s time to swim, barbecue, go to theme parks, attend picnics by day and outdoor concerts by night. Festivals and concerts are so much fun when the weather is nice—it’s time to make friends, hear great music and have a good time!.

With these events come noise, however, and at concerts, fireworks and other events those levels can reach in excess of 100 decibels! Because hearing damage can happen at noise levels any higher than 80 decibels, and since hearing damage is not reversible, we should consider ways to pro-actively to protect our hearing. Here are some good ways to do that without forfeiting these fun summer festivities.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: Affecting Both Young and Old

Noise-induced hearing loss affects more people than we realize–an estimated 1.1 billion youth throughout the world! Young people feel invincible, and are always out attending fun, loud events like concerts, sporting events and night clubs… these often have loud music or noise, and young people aren’t often concerned about their hearing.

Many studies have demonstrated that even a short-term exposure to very loud noise or music can cause permanent hearing loss, so being aware of this fact and implementing preventative strategies is very important, even for young people.

A 2015 study in Amsterdam observed the effects on hearing of wearing earplugs or not wearing them at an outdoor concert. The participants in the study included 25 people who wore ear plugs to the concert and 26 people without them. The concert was 4.5 hours long, and the two groups underwent hearing evaluations afterwards to measure any damage.

Of the 26 participants without earplugs, 22 of them registered temporary hearing loss. Of the 25 earplug-wearers, that number was only 4 people. Further, it is known that over time, multiple instances of temporary hearing loss can add up to permanent hearing loss, so it is important to note that each time temporary hearing loss is sustained can contribute to permanent damage in the long run.

What Should I Do?

It’s pretty clear that wearing earplugs is an effective way to mitigate or prevent hearing damage. Since earplugs are cheap and readily available, this is an easy way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss when worn during exposure to loud noises like sporting events, concerts, and other noisy situations.

Because temporary hearing loss usually goes away, some people may think it’s harmless, but we must remember that recurrent incidences can have long-term effects or even result in permanent hearing loss.

What are the symptoms of hearing loss? Some symptoms are having to strain to hear soft sounds or hearing sounds as muffled. If you think you may be experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to see audiologist and have a hearing exam to determine if there is damage and if any action should be taken.

The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.

Diablo Hearing Services   2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106   San Ramon  (925) 394-4646

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