Concerts, fireworks, lawn mowers, and road construction all ring sounds of summer.
Hearing specialists say summertime is a good time to think about noise exposure, as too much exposure can lead to hearing loss.
Hearing instrument specialist, Okie Allen, says too much noise exposure can lead to long term damage.
When you’ve been exposed to a lot of noise, there’s a term called tinnitus,” said Allen. “It is the nerves of hearing that have become fatigued. It’s one of the first signs of hearing loss.”
Allen says a person should be wearing earplugs when mowing the lawn, watching fireworks from a close distance, and even when at a music festival.
“Over a period of time, the constant exposure causes what they call acoustic trauma,” said Allen.
According to Ball State University, Recent studies have shown about 12.5% or 5.2 million children have hearing loss caused by noise exposure. Parents and caregivers can help children insert foam or rubber earplugs, or use earmuffs to prevent exposure to dangerous levels of noise.
After exposure to loud sounds, people may notice things sound muffled or perceive ringing in their ears. This typically goes away after a few hours. However, new research has revealed that irreversible damage has already been done to the auditory system, says audiologist Lynn Bielski, at Ball State University.
Allen says hearing loss is bound to happen with age, but there is help if you are experiencing any kind of hearing damage.
“If they suspect they have hearing loss, should have their hearing evaluated,” said Allen.
Signs of exposure to hazardous noise include:
You can’t understand someone talking two feet away.
Speech around you sounds muffled.
You have pain or ringing in the ears immediately following the exposure.
Others must raise their voices to be understood.