It is almost time to start counting down the clock to 2019, it is a very exciting time to celebrate and remember all the things that have happened over the past year. Although it is a fun holiday to celebrate, it is also ridden with hearing health obstacles and we are here to guide you through them.
First and foremost, be careful of the seemingly innocent fireworks! Did you know that these little light shows can be as loud as gunshots? Fireworks are explosions after all, and every time one goes off it can exceed 120 decibels—far above the safe level of 85 decibels. Just a few minutes spent close to exploding fireworks can cause hearing loss, so be sure to stay a safe distance away.
Depending on how involved you are with the light show, you may want to consider wearing hearing protection. Experts agree that extended exposure to noise over 85 decibels is dangerous. An easy way to solve this problem while still being part of the fireworks show? Hearing protection! Fortunately, it does not take much to protect your ears. Foam earplugs are cheap, simple, and easily available at any drug store. They can reduce the levels of noise by up to 35 decibels and you can still be right in the middle of the action.
For those who wear hearing aids, you may want to consider adjusting your hearing technology for the loud noises to come. You can program your setting for noise reduction, or select a reduced level in the music settings. If you do not have this feature, a pair of noise-reducing earmuffs can always do the trick. If you do not have earmuffs on hand, you have the luxury of turning off your hearing aids and enjoying the show at a reduced noise level.
Also, do not forget about the little ears watching the fireworks! If it is too loud for you, then it is certainly too loud for the children. Kid’s ears are more sensitive than adult ears and even more susceptible to dangerous levels of noise. Hearing loss also has a more profound effect on children because it can affect their cognitive development. Get the kiddos some earplugs at your local pharmacy or hardware store, their ears will thank you.
It is going to be a chilly night and hearing technology may be affected by the cold. This is a rare holiday where it is tradition to stand outside at midnight in the cold and watch the fireworks light up the night sky. So if you or a loved one wears hearing aids, check that the devices are ready to help you enjoy the occasion to the fullest. Also remember, battery life is shorter is cold temperatures, so you may want to bring some spares.
More than anything, remember to have fun ringing in the New Year. 2019 brings many possibilities and so much hope. Let’s look forward and strive to be our best selves this year. Put your hearing health first, and if you think you are experiencing hearing loss please call and set up a free hearing evaluation. Start this year off on track!
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