Sure, we all recognize when a really loud noise hits our ears such as a train zooming by, a firework explosion or the roar of the crowd at a game, but we don’t always take notice of the frequency of our exposure to loud sounds. The frequency of our exposure to noise can also impact our hearing health over time. As our Dr. John Salisbury points out, “with a loud explosion, you know what has happened to cause the trauma, but with other forms of noise-induced hearing loss, the damage is more subtle. It develops slowly.”

Fortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable, but it takes work. First recognize what types of sounds are dangerous to your ears. Did you know that any noise over 85 decibels can damage your hearing? Many people do not recognize that even everyday noises such as the lawn mower are above the 85 decibel threshold. With the July 4th holiday not only may we be planning to mow the lawn but many of us will also attend a fireworks display. Fireworks can actually clock in at 150 decibels, so it is important to pack a pair of ear plugs for protection, especially for children. This leads us to the second way you can prevent noise-induced hearing loss and that is to wear ear protection to be proactive about reducing your risk. Finally, be sure to schedule regular hearing exams. Just like you take care of your teeth and your eyes, don’t forget to take care of your ears. A hearing exam can be a great way to establish a hearing health baseline and diagnosis hearing loss early.