By Anne Reap
We’re hoping you enjoy your day today but remember, fireworks, firecrackers, concerts and outdoor events make Independence Day one of the noisiest American holidays. These events can expose us to noises that hurt our hearing.
HOW FIREWORKS AFFECT HEARING
From Boys Town National Research Hospital, fireworks produce a sound output that is in the 150 to 175 decibel range. Each year, many people experience some damage to their hearing as a result of fireworks.
Exposure to loud sounds can result in the following:
- Tinnitus – ringing in the ears, which can be a symptom of hearing loss.
- Temporary threshold shift – slight decrease in hearing, which usually only lasts 24 hours.
- Permanent hearing loss – a change in hearing that is permanent and cannot be restored.
PROTECT YOUR EARS
Whether you are participating in recreational or professional fireworks, hearing protection is encouraged in both situations. You could be at risk of having some hearing damage. There are two types of earplugs that can be bought at your local drug store, supermarket or sporting goods store. There are roll-down foam plugs that go into the ear or headphones that sit over top of the ear. Headphones tend to be easier to wear, are more comfortable, and tend to offer more protection. If you will be setting off fireworks or are watching nearby, both roll-down foam plugs and headphones are strongly recommended for maximum hearing protection.
Although fireworks are exciting, it is important to realize they can be dangerous to your hearing. With the right precautions, you and your family and friends can enjoy the Fourth of July holiday without the fear of hearing loss.
Happy 4th of July!