Celebrate Safely and Plan Ahead So That Fireworks and Other Loud Noises Do Not Cause Permanent Damage
As July 4th approaches, we want to remind you of the importance of protecting your hearing from loud noises, especially fireworks. About 40% of hearing loss is estimated to have been caused by excessive noise exposure. Taking simple steps to protect the hearing of all family members can prevent potentially lifelong consequences.
Here are some hearing protection tips for this Fourth of July:
- Keep a safe distance. Noise from exploding fireworks can reach as high as 155 decibels, and if you are located close to the blasts, there is greater risk for immediate, sudden, and permanent hearing loss. Maintain a healthy distance (at least 500 feet) from fireworks, fire crackers, speaker systems, and other sources of loud noise.
- Wear earplugs. Ear plugs are an inexpensive and easy way to protect your hearing during loud events. Make sure your ear plugs fit snugly. For children under 7 or 8 years old, use ear muffs.
- Know your limits. Sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. The louder the sound, the shorter the time period before hearing loss can occur. If you notice ringing or buzzing in your ears, move farther away from the noise source.
- Seek professional help. If you feel that your hearing may have been affected, seek the help of a certified audiologist.