6 Tips for Protecting Your Hearing This Summer
Summer is the season for outdoor activities and getting out of dodge – but many of these frequent events can bring some undue noise and ear pressure to your hearing.
Look out for the following six scenarios in which your hearing might be at risk and may require extra caution and care through protective plugs and muffs.
Once summer hits, it’s easy to find yourself enjoying the warm weather with a drive in your motorcycle or convertible or other open-air vehicles. But if you’re trying to protect your hearing, don’t forget that this introduces some high-decibel noise into your vicinity. Make sure that you’re wearing a helmet, in the case of the motorcycle, and consider using earplugs to dull the effects of the blowing wind, which can reach 100+ decibels.
The Fourth of July is behind us, but summertime brings recreational activities beyond just fireworks displays. Whether you’re hitting the local summertime parade or enjoying some outdoor target shooting, you’re prone to hearing loss in these high-volume scenarios. Firearms traditionally can reach nearly 150 decibels, and fireworks and parade noise aren’t that far off from that level. If you’re hearing is sensitive, keep a healthy distance from the source of the noise or invest in some earplugs or earmuffs to enjoy these activities.
While indoor appliances such as vacuums might not seem that harmful (though not all vacuums are made alike – some can be quite loud), outdoor machinery at your house might run the risk of causing damage in the summertime. You’ve got your lawnmower, weed whacker and other noise-making devices in full swing during this season, so don’t skimp on proper ear protection while you’re using them. This equipment can top out at 100 decibels or more, so take care.
To some, there’s nothing better when the weather gets warm than hitting an outdoor concert or music festival. Unfortunately, these are also some of the biggest sources of hearing damage during the summertime. The closer you are to the speakers or the stage, the more likely it is you’ll need added protection. Anything more than 85 decibels is potentially damaging, and concerts usually rack up more than 100.
When summer vacation rolls in, it’s oftentimes the perfect opportunity for the family to get away on a vacation. Just keep in mind that when you make use of loud modes of transportation, such as planes and trains, your ears will thank you for a little added protection, such as earplugs. And don’t forget to yawn or chew gum on takeoff to avoid pressure-related discomfort.
If you’re planning on going poolside or heading to the lake this summer, don’t forget that swimmer’s ear is a legitimate concern. When you swim, water can get trapped inside your outer ear and cause swelling. Make sure to tilt your head to the side when you emerge from the water and gently wipe the outer ear with a towel if need be – just don’t make things worse by putting objects, namely cotton swabs, inside your ear, as this can cause more damage than it prevents.