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July 23rd, 2014 | General | by Andreas Seelisch

Loud Summer Sounds that can Affect your Hearing

After the winter is over, summer is a time for most of us to shed some layers, while enjoying the sights and sounds of the season. However, some of our favourite summer activities may be leading us down a path to hearing loss and hearing aids without us even knowing it.

Any noise above 80 decibels with prolonged exposure can cause hearing loss. To put this into perspective, a whisper can be about 30 decibels, rain sits at approximately 50 decibels, while normal conversation or computer typing can be around 60 decibels.

Sounds that can take us over the 80 decibel mark include:

  • Lawnmower at 90 decibels
  • Chainsaw or drill at 100 decibels
  • Power saw at 110 decibels
  • Loud music concert or car horn at 115 decibels
  • Race car at 130 decibels
  • Fireworks at 150 decibels

Toronto and in fact the whole province of Ontario comes alive in the summer with a plethora of festivals, concerts and just about every type of event you can think of happening every weekend. For instance, the Honda Indy rolled into town last week. The colourful Toronto Caribbean Carnival – known as the biggest festival of its kind in North America – boasts its signature parade during the Civic Holiday weekend. There’s also the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) with its much loved annual Labour Day weekend air show. The list can go on and on with fireworks for Labour Day and music festivals like Rock the Park in London and Boots and Hearts in Bowmanville.

Sounds like a lot of fun doesn’t it? And it is, but there’s also a good chance that you could be exposed to a lot of noise at any one of these events. One should be conscious of this fact and take precautions.

Audiologists and Hearing Instrument Practitioners would normally advise people to plan ahead and wear ear plugs. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, as the old saying goes.

You may wonder what to do for more spontaneous attendance at events? For example, you may be just out walking and happen to come across some fabulous band playing at a bar. You can always keep a set of ear plugs handy with you at all times.

If you feel like your hearing has changed and you’re not hearing like you used to, consult your local Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Practitioner. If you experience sudden and complete hearing loss in one or both ears, you should seek medical attention immediately by going to a hospital emergency room. You want to be able to prevent any permanent damage associated with sudden hearing loss.

Enjoy your summer to the fullest, while preserving your precious hearing!

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