Turn It Down This SummerJul 04, 2014
Summertime isn’t just about long days, sunshine and popsicles. It’s also about the activities that make summer fun: pool parties, outdoor concerts, and taking your motorcycle out on the open road. You probably never considered how your summer activities affect your hearing, but many of the things that make summer enjoyable can have long-lasting effects on your ears.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
A lot of people think it takes the noise levels of a heavy metal concert to cause hearing loss, but that isn’t the case. Sustained hearing loss can occur at 90 decibels. So how loud is that? City traffic is hovers around 85 decibels, many lawn mowers get up to 107 decibels, and rock concerts average 115 decibels.
Use Your Smartphone
Don’t count on pain to be your guide on this one. It takes around 125 decibels for ear pain to set in, but by that time your hearing may already be permanently damaged. Nowadays, you can download applications on your smartphone that have sound level meters that read the noise levels around you and let you know when your environment dictates wearing hearing protection. A simple search will lead you to several options.
In the meantime, here are a few of the most common summer activities where you’ll want to protect your ears:
Summer is the season for construction, and if you are in close proximity to – or working directly at – a construction site, hearing protection is critical. Depending on what type of construction is going on, the noise level can range from 95-125 decibels at a construction site, so if you can’t avoid these areas, make sure you wear earplugs to protect your hearing.
Hearing protection should always be worn around firearms, because the quick, sudden, loud blast can reach up to 165 decibels, which can damage your hearing instantly and irreversibly.
Our lawns have to be mowed, and lawnmowers are loud, reaching 107 decibels. These facts of life can’t be changed, so make sure you wear earplugs when you are mowing your lawn.
We all know that concerts are loud – that is part of what makes them fun. But they’re not worth damaging your hearing for. Don’t stand next to the speakers, and keep a pair of earplugs on hand. Wearing earplugs doesn’t mean you won’t hear the show, it just means you won’t damage your hearing for it.
Summertime is meant to be hazy and fun, enjoying the things we only get to enjoy for a few precious months each year. Make sure you’ll have the chance to enjoy your favorite summertime activities for years to come by protecting your hearing now.
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