When you think of the Independence Day what comes to mind? Red, white, and blue? Outdoor activities? Block parties with friends and family? The one thing that remains true to many of our 4th of July celebrations are fireworks! Whether it be going to a giant public light show or personally purchasing firecrackers to light in the street, fireworks endure as an important part of our Independence Day festivities.
It may come as a surprise then that those infamous pyrotechnics may actually be wreaking havoc on the ears of you and your loved ones. Does this mean we need to get rid of the tradition entirely? Certainly not! The solution is simple—if we can begin to practice hearing loss prevention techniques, we can save our ears in the long run. So what kind of hearing loss prevention practices are best for the loud decibels of fireworks? We have a few tips from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to incorporate not only for your personal hearing protection, but for the safety of your family and friends.
The number one rule to remember is to keep a safe distance from the fireworks. This is not only beneficial to your hearing, but also your overall safety. According to the ASHA “noise from exploding fireworks can reach as high as 155 decibels.” This is extremely loud and in fact the World Health Organization recommends that adults not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure. For children, the recommendation is even lower at 120 decibels. Maintaining a safe distance of at least 500 feet from pyrotechnics should keep you and your loved ones in a safe zone.
One of the easiest ways to prevent hearing loss—not just with fireworks but any loud environment—is wearing earplugs. They may seem like an inconvenience at the moment but they can save unlimited amounts of time and money in the future. You can never be too careful with something as precious as your hearing, so just keep a pair of earplugs in your bag and grab them when the loud celebrations begin!
Understanding your limits can truly make an impact on your hearing health. The ASHA states that “sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss.” Listen to what your ears are telling you! They are designed to notify you if the sounds you are experiencing are too loud. If you find that you are physically uncomfortable it typically means you are around a dangerous decibel level. If you are aware of any ringing or discomfort, simply move further away from the source of the noise. Your ears will thank you!
These simple preventative measures may seem obvious, but really think about how many times you may have gone against these rules. Are you taking your hearing health seriously? If not, you may be signing up for a lot of trouble in the future. If you think that you may already be experiencing symptoms of hearing loss do not wait another day to find out. Each and every one of us should know our individual hearing status. Call us today to schedule your free hearing evaluation today!
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