Summer Ear Protection
Summer Time Equals Summer Ear Protection
Throughout the years, popular artists have memorialized the joys of summer. Nat King Cole crooned about “Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.” And the Beach Boys are synonymous with tunes about fun under the summer sun.
To cherish music and other sounds of the season for a lifetime, it’s important to protect your hearing from common activities that are a part of summer. Long exposure to water activities, as well as loud outdoor concerts, lawn mowers, motorized recreational vehicles and fireworks can potentially damage your ears.
Is the sound too loud?
Sound volume is measured in decibels. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has set a level of 85 decibels as the cutoff for hearing safety. Many typical summer outdoor activities are higher than 85. For example, a lawn mower is about 90 decibels; an iPod at maximum volume can top 100 decibels; a rock concert can get as high as 115; and exploding firecrackers and fireworks can exceed 130 decibels.
If you have to shout to be heard by someone who is within arm’s length, the noise is probably in the dangerous range. The longer you are exposed to this level of noise, the greater your risk for permanent hearing loss.
Tips for protecting your ears from loud summer sounds
- Increase distance – Stay a safe distance from loud events like fireworks shows. If a loud noise surprises you, quickly plug your ears with your fingers and walk away. Increasing the distance will help reduce the decibels of the noise reaching your ears.
- Use earplugs – Disposable earplugs ─ made of foam or silicone ─ can usually be found at local pharmacies. They enable you to hear concert music and conversation while blocking out dangerously loud sounds.
- Wear protective headphones – Ones that fit properly over the ears can reduce the level of decibels reaching your ears while operating lawn mowers, weed whackers and other power equipment.
- Limit your time – Alternate time in noisy environments with periods of quiet if you can and use ear protection.
- Watch the volume – Keep the volume of your smartphones and other electronics low, particularly when listening to them through headphones and ear buds. And remember, duration of time on these devices matters, too.
Other Summer Hearing Issues – Swimmer’s Ear
While this type of ear infection is common to swimmers, sometimes living in a hot, humid climate is enough for moisture to build up and become trapped. This can aid bacterial growth and cause an infection in the outer ear canal. Swimmer’s ear is usually not serious if treated promptly. However, you might experience muffled hearing which should get better after the infection clears up.
Steps to help avoid swimmer’s ear
- Towel dry ears after swimming
- Tilt your head to each side to let all excess water drain
- Use earplugs or a swim cap, especially when swimming in lakes and rivers which can contain higher levels of bacteria
- The use of a hairdryer on a low setting can help alleviate moisture in the ear
You will enjoy the sounds and songs of summer for years to come by taking these simple steps to safeguard your ears. If you think you’ve suffered hearing loss or for all your hearing aid needs, talk with the professionals at Beltone of Iowa for proper testing and diagnosis.
Call Beltone of Iowa Today!
Cedar Rapids area: 319-393-8994
Des Moines Area: 515-276-1648
Toll Free: 800-999-1391