While many people worry that they will be burned by fireworks, it is important to note that hearing may be just as endangered. Just one fireworks exposure, close to a person’s ears, can cause irreversible damage with lifelong repercussions.
Noise Exposure is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Loud noise damages the delicate hair cells in the cochlea of the inner ear. Once these hair cells are damaged, there is currently no treatment to repair them. This damage often results in permanent hearing loss and tinnitus.
According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, sounds louder than 85 decibels have potential to cause permanent hearing loss, whether it’s a single loud blast or prolonged exposure. Fireworks can produce a sound output that is in the 150-175 decibel range. Loud fireworks could permanently damage your hearing in an instant. Children also have smaller ear canals than adults, which makes sound much louder and more dangerous to their ears.
What you can do to protect your hearing:
- Firework sound will be quieter and less likely to cause damage, the further you are from the explosion. Try to sit as far as you can from the sound source, while still being able to enjoy watching the firework display.
- Wear earmuffs or earplugs to protect your hearing while watching fireworks. Earplugs can be purchased at most drugstores or pharmacies and earmuffs are available at sporting good stores or online. For babies and children, check out: http://earmuffsforkids.com. Hearing clinics, including NDBC, can also make custom hearing protection, using an impression of your ear.
- Monitor your hearing. Have your hearing evaluated routinely by an Audiologist to track any changes due to noise exposure.
The Hearing Clinic at the National Dizzy and Balance Center provides complete hearing care needs. We offer a full line of digital hearing aids and accessories. Our Doctors of Audiology are here to help you decide which type of hearing aid is best for you.
Call to schedule your appointment today, (952) 206-1060 or visit our website for more information.