Hearing Loss: The Hidden Danger of Fireworks

Posted on December 22, 2014. Filed under: hearing education, hearing health, hearing loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

With the holidays in full effect, it’s only natural to get caught up in all the frivolous fun that comes hand in hand with events like Christmas and the prospect of a new year! But while it may be a time for joy and family fun, there is the risk of harming your hearing over the holidays. While holidays like Christmas don’t really pose any great risk to your overall health (except for the great deal of food we all undoubtedly eat), events like New Years celebrations with lots of fireworks that occur days after Christmas do pose a great risk to all demographics who partake in some of the firework fun that is usually lined up.

If you’re a frequent reader of our blog, it comes with no surprise to you that hearing loss can be majorly influenced by loud noises, which work to eventually debilitate the mechanics of our ears. Anything from hair driers to French horns can pose a major risk on our hearing health if the proper precautions are not taken. But over the holidays there is a heightened risk in the form of New Years celebrations. You see, fireworks are the essential ingredient to ringing in the New Year. But research suggests that the resulting noise can range anywhere from 150-175 decibels, almost double what is said to be the maximum amount our ears can handle. Further research even goes as far as suggest that loud noises may even damage the sensitive nerves in our brains, causing irreversible damage.

This brings us back to the potentially lurking dangers in the fireworks that come with the holiday season. Although studies suggest that 1 in 10,000 people experience hearing damage as a result of fireworks, adults under the age of 25 are as much as three times more likely than anyone else to witness any adverse effects. One of the most important factors that influence the risk of hearing loss resulting from fireworks is the distance between the individual and the explosion itself. The next vital aspect to consider is the sound level itself. For example, if a firework explodes at a noise level of 170 db, the average human being would have to stand anywhere from 15 to 20 meters away.

Although there is indeed an added risk that comes along with fireworks and hearing loss during the New Year, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid the family gathering to ring in the New Year because of your hearing health. It simply means that preventative measures should be taken. Start by wearing protection for you ears like ear plugs, especially if there also loud music around your celebration event. Furthermore, consider keeping a good distance from the crowd and loud firework noises.

If you feel like the stress on your ears is becoming overwhelming, take a couple of minutes to spend some alone time in a quiet environment to give your ears some time to recharge. However, if you feel like your hearing is being detrimentally affected, seeking help as soon as possible is absolutely vital to the wellbeing of your health. In any case, be sure to simply enjoy the upcoming holiday season with your loved ones! Happy Holidays from the New Generation Hearing Center family!

fireworks

Image Credit: NY Daily News

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