Autumn and Hearing Health

September 21, 2018 8:40 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s that time of year when the weather is beginning to cool down and it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming holiday festivities. There are so many fun fall activities to participate in with friends and family, we do not want you to miss out on a single second of the merriment. So what should we be looking out for during the next few months? We are here to share some insights into healthy hearing for the coming season.

Look Out For Excessive Noise

A common cause of hearing issues is Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). The good news about this kind of hearing damage is that it is preventable. During the fall there are certain activities that may be causing more damage than you would expect.

This time of year is exceptional because all the sporting events that go on, but beware of the hidden dangers of attending these games. In a conversation with NPR, Jack Wrightson of an acoustical consulting firm said that an average NFL crowd generates noise between 80 and 90 decibels. In fact, in an especially turbulent game the decibels can reach even higher levels. One Seattle Seahawks crowd hit a high of 137.6 decibels in 2013! These levels can cause permanent hearing loss, so be aware if your ears are hurting during these events there is likely damage being done.

If you prefer hunting to game watches for your fall time activity, you may want to look out for the decibel levels there as well. Firearms happen to be one of the biggest perpetrators of NIHL. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association revealed that a .22 caliber rifle creates a noise close to 140 decibels. It could take one careless shot to cause hearing loss, so you can never be too careful. Many people who use guns recreationally suffer from high-frequency hearing loss—don’t let that be you! Pack extra hearing protection before you head out on your adventure.

If you enjoy doing work around the house or in the yard, extra steps should be taken to protect your ears. Leaf blowers and chainsaws can reach up to 100 decibels or more. The problematic part about these activities is that hearing loss is cumulative and a bit of hearing damage over and over again can add up to serious hearing issues. It may seem silly to throw in a pair of ear plugs just to do some yard work, but NIHL is preventable and you will thank yourself later!

Seasonal Impacts

With the changing weather there are bound to be many people suffering from allergies which may lead to some kind of hearing issue. A common issue is known as Conductive Hearing Loss. This hearing issue happens when sound waves are not able to travel through the outer ear due to blockage. This can be caused by fluid or earwax buildup–fortunately this kind of hearing loss is in general fairly temporary.

All major parts of the ear can be affected by allergies. The outer ear may be impacted by skin reactions such as rashes which may cause swelling and/or itching of the outer ear and ear canal. The middle ear can be affected by fluid buildup which can cause earaches and can create an uncomfortable pressure. Hearing can be temporarily impaired in those with inner-ear disorder such as Ménière’s disease.

It is important to watch out for your hearing during the fall because allergies may be deceiving. Be sure to monitor any kind of hearing loss you may be experiencing and if it persists, feel free to call us to set up a free hearing evaluation appointment. We want you to live your healthiest life this autumn, help us making your hearing health a priority!

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