We all look forward to the great holiday – The 4th of July. Concerts, parades, and festivals are held throughout the country. And of course, how without the launch of fireworks, the obligatory attribute of this holiday.
Many people prefer to buy and launch it on their own in their yards, and some visit special light shows with their whole family.
Regardless of where the fireworks are launched, certain safety rules apply to prevent fires, injuries, and burns. But often in addition to health hazards, fireworks can also cause great harm to our hearing. Let’s figure it out together! Are these multi-colored flashes of lights safe for your ears?
What is Impulse Noise?
Impulse noise is an intermittent noise that consists of one or more repeated sound signals lasting no more than a few seconds. A gunshot is a great example of such noise, or in our case, the sound of a firework.
In medicine, there is the concept of safe sound volume, and it should not exceed 75 decibels. Dr. Zhanneta Shapiro says the following about this:
Sound is measured in decibels (dBA). 75 decibels and below is considered safe, even for extended periods of time. Any louder, and damage is possible. Long or repeated exposure to sounds at 85 dBA can cause hearing loss. The louder the sound, the less time spent to the noise exposure is needed to cause damage.
Why is Impulse Noise dangerous?
The danger of impulse noise lies in the fact that the hearing organ does not have time to adapt to it, and a signal that is too strong reaches the inner ear without attenuation.
The noise of a firework, even from a distance of three feet, reaches 150 dB! You see how much it exceeds the permissible norm, safe for our ears. The sound of a jackhammer is approximately 130 dB.
4th of July is an amazing holiday and fireworks are beautiful, but it’s important to enjoy it while protecting your hearing. Indeed, the impact of impulse noise can have a detrimental effect on hearing health and even lead to permanent hearing loss. Even if you manage to recover your lost hearing, the damage may remain for a long time and cause you discomfort.
If you or your loved ones find symptoms of hearing loss, take our Online Hearing Test. Send us the results, and our experts will consult with you and be sure to identify the problem.
How to protect your hearing?
In case you want to watch the fireworks, or have already purchased it in a store and want to arrange a home holiday, be sure to protect your hearing around fireworks. Get special equipment for yourself and your family that can minimize decibels from the noise of fireworks.
Currently, the most affordable of these tools are ordinary earplugs. They are quite popular, effective, and inexpensive.
Another good option, to preserve hearing health, is to purchase special headphones designed for work in industrial noise, or used during hunting.
You can use both products at the same time. But this is not always convenient, because in this case, you may not be able to hear the people and what is happening around you.
These simple tools will help reduce the noise from the fireworks by about 20-30 decibels. Of course, the result will depend on the particular brand and manufacturer. Do not forget to follow the instructions for use and then you can provide the most reliable protection for the ears.
Young children are more vulnerable to noise damage because their ear canals are much smaller than that of an adult, so the noise from the fireworks will create the highest (and most dangerous) pressure in their ears.
Ordinary earplugs are not suitable for them, because they are much larger than the child’s ears. For this reason, you should purchase special headphones for babies. They perfectly protect sensitive children’s ears and allow you to spend a holiday without unpleasant consequences.
Audiology Island offers the most innovative hearing protection to suit all your needs. Here you will find modern, inexpensive but effective Custom Hearing Protection.
Be sure to get protection for people with High-Frequency Hearing Loss and sensorineural hearing loss, as impulsive noise can aggravate their illness and make it irreversible. Just get a few sets of protection. There is nothing complicated in it, and the health of your loved ones is priceless!
Many Americans have pets at home, including dogs. It is worth paying attention to the fact that they are much more sensitive to noise than people. Therefore, it is better to leave your friend at home, in order to avoid any hearing problems. The main thing is that your pet is away from the epicenter of the salute. Be attentive to your pets and take care of them.
Hearing problems are currently very common. Our specialists daily come across people who suffer from hearing loss. Most diseases, depending on their severity, are treatable and, if desired, hearing can be restored. Hearing aids are great for this. Their use is simply irreplaceable for hearing-impaired patients.
To avoid hearing problems, you need to follow some simple rules that will help maintain your health. The most important and effective of these is hearing protection (in any form described above). Follow the recommendations listed above and use protective equipment, so you will remain healthy and be able to experience the joy of the holidays and fireworks!
About Dr Zhanneta Shapiro
Dr Zhanneta Shapiro received her Masters of Science from Brooklyn College in 2005 and completed her Doctorate of Audiology from Florida University in May 2008. Her graduate training was in various hospitals in the tri-state area and a residency period completed at Ear Nose and Throat Associates of New York. [ Learn More ]