Many outdoor activities in the summer can be extremely loud and possibly damaging to your ears. For example, exposure to the sounds of lawn equipment, power tools, fireworks, and concerts can all lead to irreversible hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable. The Better Hearing Institute recommends wearing earplugs when around loud sounds. Columbus Speech & Hearing offers custom-made silicone hearing protection. Custom hearing protection allows the plugs to fit perfectly in your ears.
There are a variety of earplugs out there that are non-custom.
- Foam earplugs are made from soft foam and, when rolled correctly and placed directly in the ear canal, can help with hearing protection. Foam plugs are meant for one time use. Protection is highly dependent on how well the earplug is in the ear. These are good for fireworks and lawn maintenance.
- Pre-Molded earplugs are made from silicone or rubber. These earplugs can be used multiple times. Some pre-molded earplugs are “high-fidelity,” meaning that they will lower the volume of the sound equally at all levels. These are great non-custom options for people who want to appreciate audio or music quality while at the same time protecting their hearing.
- Earmuffs (not the kind you wear in the winter) are easy to use and generally comfortable. They reduce noise by completely covering both ears. Earmuffs are great when using power tools or lawn equipment and come in children and adult sizes. Earmuffs are also easier than earplugs to use correctly, especially for children.
When watching fireworks, enjoy them at a safe distance. The sound of a single firecracker at close range can cause immediate and permanent hearing loss. Wearing earplugs at events with fireworks is also a good idea.
When listening to music through headphones or earbuds, keep the volume down. If others around you can hear the sound, it’s too loud. Do not use earbuds to drown out the noise of lawn equipment. The sound getting to your ears from the earbuds is likely incredibly loud and can damage your hearing.
There are many options out to help you enjoy your favorite summer activities safely. Remember, it’s never too late to start protecting your hearing!