The sounds of summer can be some of the loudest you hear all year – lawn mowers, road construction and fireworks chief among them.
Summer is a good time to think about year-round noise exposure, says audioilogist Lynn Bieleski of Ball State University.
“We live in a noisy world,” says Bielski, an assistant professor of audiology. “Excessively loud noise, music or other sound exposure will damage our hearing, and we need to take responsibility and protect it.
She notes that sounds louder than 80 decibels have the potential to cause permanent damage. Noise created by fireworks, traffic, concerts, and landscaping equipment usually range between 90 and 140 decibels.
While protecting your hearing from hazardous sounds is important in all seasons, warmer weather make people more vulnerable to noise sources that can lead to permanent hearing loss.
“Similar to wearing a helmet when riding a bike, or a seat belt in a vehicle, hearing protection is critical safety equipment when going to a concert, a fireworks display, or an auto race,” Bielski says. “Children are also at risk for hearing damage from noise exposure.”