July 4th is next week, and one of the favorite things that people like to do is to watch the fireworks. One thing that is often overlooked during July 4th celebrations is the damage that fireworks can cause to your hearing.
How do fireworks damage hearing?The best way to answer that question is with another question. Would you stand next to a jet engine when the plane is starting up? Hopefully, the answer to that question is no. Jet engines can create sounds around 150 decibels. And guess what….so can standing within 3 feet of fireworks. Attending fireworks shows on July 4th is fun, however, how can you enjoy them without permanently damaging your hearing?
4 ways to prepare your ears (and your child’s) for the 4th.
- Wear ear plugs. Even if it’s too late to get them for the 4th, grab them for future events to have on hand.
- Children and babies are vulnerable. This may be obvious, but one thing to note is hearing loss is cumulative, meaning it will add up over time as you damage more hair cells.
- Keep a safe distance. The farther away you are from loud sounds, the better.
- Use an app. It’s true what they say, there’s an app for everything. If you’re unsure how loud it is where you are try out an app that measures sound in decibels. According to ASHA, prolonged exposure to sounds over 85 decibels can cause hearing loss.
- Cover your ears and move away. If for any reason you get in a situation with loud sounds by accident, just cover your ears and move away from the sound. This won’t be as good as steps 1 and 3 above, but it will be better than nothing.
3 common symptoms of hearing damageJust in case you are exposed to intense noise levels, you may experience one of the following symptoms.
- Muffled hearing.
- Ringing or buzzing in the ear.