Noise-Induced Hearing Loss – Fireworks

One of my annoyances is when I see how many people are losing their hearing due to prolonged exposure to loud noises. If you live in a large city, as I have, it’s difficult to avoid all forms of loud noise. Years ago, when I took my son to his audiologist, shewould spend about an hour with him doing various hearing tests. I would ask the audiologist if they had a spare sound-proof booth that I could sit in so that I could have total silence for about an hour. It was wonderful, but, believe me, I wouldn’t want that silence for most of my life!

Much of the noise exposure can be avoided, but I see many people intentionally place themselves and their young kids in noisy environments. So, occasionally, I will post an article related to noise-induced hearing loss with some tips on what you can do to prevent or minimize the damage. I hope that you will follow this advice, seriously.

July 4 is less than a week away. It is usually a day with picnics, beach fun, loud fireworks and loud music. This article warns against exposure to the loud noise of fireworks and fire crackers. (I should mention that most fireworks should be handled by professionals, only. Even “smaller” fire-crackers should be carefully handled, as well. Each year, we read and hear about a few people that died or seriously injured themselves because of stupid or careless handling. Remember – these things are explosives!!!) The maximum tolerable noise level is at 140 decibels. Fireworks are frequently emitting sound at 150 decibels and higher. Prolonged exposure to noise above 80 decibels can cause hearing damage.

Thus, if you and your family are attending a fireworks show, the article recommends standing at least 100 feet away from the blast source. If you are at a professional show like in a park, you’re probably doing that. It also doesn’t hurt to wear ear protection such as headphones (without the music blasting!!!) or ear plugs.

Most importantly, protect your young kids, especially infants, and teenagers from the loud noise. Don’t let your teen-age kid talk you out of the idea; it is a big deal! You can show them my post and / or the linked article. There’s enough evidence showing that loud noise causes damage.

I hope you have a safe, enjoyable, and “quiet” July 4 and summer.

About the Author
Daniel Feldman has been a native New Yorker his entire life. He is a computer analyst, technical writer and trainer. He enjoys the unusual - whether it's travelling to unusual places, inventing unusual recipes or interviewing unusual people, he will probably write or speak about it. In this blog, Daniel presents stories from his unusual as a "Middle Ear". His parents were deaf and his oldest son is also deaf. You will find a collection of some of the poignant, humorous and amazing stories about he as well as other deaf people have dealt with the challenges of deafness in a changing hearing technologically advancing world.
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