How to Protect Your Ears from Summer Noise Exposure

How to Protect Your Ears from Summer Noise Exposure

In Ear Health, Hearing Health, Hearing Loss by Zach Kenealey, HIS

Zach Kenealey, HIS

Summer brings exciting outdoor activities and events, from music festivals and concerts to fireworks displays and sporting events. While these experiences are enjoyable, they can also expose your ears to dangerously high noise levels, potentially leading to long-term hearing damage or loss. Here are some tips and strategies on how to safeguard your ears from summer noise exposure.

Awareness is Key

The first step in protecting your ears from summer noise exposure is being aware of the potential risks around you. Be mindful of activities or environments where noise levels can reach hazardous levels, such as concerts, fireworks displays, motorsports events, and crowded outdoor venues.

Know the safe listening thresholds. Sound levels above 85 decibels (dB) can be harmful, especially with prolonged exposure. Familiarize yourself with what these sound levels sound like and make conscious efforts to avoid them or protect your ears when exposed.

Use Hearing Protection

When you find yourself in noisy situations, it’s important to use hearing protection to shield your ears from harmful noise levels.

  • Earplugs: Disposable foam earplugs are readily available and can effectively reduce noise levels while maintaining sound quality. They are portable, affordable, and suitable for various summer activities.
  • Earmuffs: Earmuffs are a great option for anyone attending loud events or engaging in noisy outdoor activities. Designed to cover the entire ear, earmuffs can provide substantial noise reduction and are particularly beneficial for individuals with young children.
  • Custom hearing protection: You can invest in custom hearing protection that provides a sealed fit for better comfort and sound protection. These are molded to your ears for the best protection.

Move Away from Noise Sources

Sometimes, the best course of action is to simply move away from excessively loud noise sources. By creating distance between yourself and the noise, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your hearing. At outdoor concerts or festivals, find a location away from loudspeakers or amplifiers. Consider standing farther back or seeking out quieter areas while still enjoying the music.

If you are attending a fireworks display, position yourself at a safe distance from the launch site. Not only will this protect your ears, but it will also provide a better view of the intricate pyrotechnic show.

Take Regular Breaks

Continuous exposure to loud noise can have a cumulative effect on our hearing health. Taking regular breaks from noisy environments allows your ears time to rest and recover. Consider the following:

  • If you are spending extended periods at a loud outdoor event, make it a point to step away from the noise from time to time. Find a quieter spot, have a conversation, or simply sit in silence to give your ears a break.
  • At concerts or music festivals, take advantage of intermissions or breaks between performances to give your ears a rest. Use that time to find a quieter area with less noise.

Be Mindful of Personal Listening Habits

Our personal listening habits, especially when using headphones or earbuds, can contribute to summer noise exposure. Here are some tips for mindful listening:

  • Limit the volume: When using headphones or earbuds, practice the 60/60 rule – listen at no more than 60% of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time. Regularly take breaks to give your ears a rest.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones: Noise-cancelling headphones can help reduce the need to increase the volume to block out background noise. By creating a quieter listening environment, you can enjoy your music at lower, safer volumes.
  • Over-the-ear headphones: Over-the-ear headphones are generally a better choice than earbuds when it comes to protecting your hearing. They tend to provide better noise isolation and reduce the risk of excessive volume levels.

Book Your Next Hearing Test

Enjoying summer activities and events doesn’t have to come at the expense of your hearing health. By being aware of potential noise risks and using hearing protection, you can protect your ears from summer noise exposure. Remember, protecting your hearing today ensures that you can enjoy many more summers with crystal-clear hearing.

Take a proactive step towards protecting your ears this summer. Visit us for a hearing test or to explore custom hearing protection.