As we wind down from this year and prepare to welcome the new year at a friend or family member’s party or an event, please remember to protect your ears from loud noises that are bound to occur.
New Year’s Eve is commonly associated with celebrating with loud music, dancing, fireworks, and alcohol. Do you ever think about how loud a cork removed from a champagne bottle can be? Even getting hit in the ear with it flying nearly 25 miles per hour can cause damage to your eardrum.
A fireworks display is beautiful to watch and enjoy after the clock reaches midnight, but be aware that the bursts of noise can range from 150 to 175 decibels (dB). The average human’s listening threshold is 70-85 dB. That noise level can cause permanent damage to your hearing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults should not be in an area with over 140 dB of peak sound pressure. Many people have endured some damage to their ears due to the sound of fireworks. Similar noise levels, such as live concerts, sound systems, and explosions, can cause tinnitus or permanent hearing loss. If you experience tinnitus due to fireworks noise, the phrase ‘ringing in the New Year’ can have a new meaning.
The importance of Distance between You and the Source of the Sound
One element of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) caused by sounds like fireworks is the range of distance a person is from the source of sounds. The closer you are from where the sound originates, the more likely you experience hearing loss. To reduce the damage that noise does to your ears, make sure you are 15-20 meters away from the sound source. Children’s hearing is much more sensitive, so keeping them at a further distance is highly recommended.
Protect Your Ears with Ear Plugs
Is the sound nearby also loud? Earplugs aren’t just helpful in blocking out annoying background noises. Use them to protect your ears from dangerous levels of sound.
Indirect Noise Exposure
Anyone who lives near a popular/loud venue could be experiencing noise disturbance. Most people will tolerate the noises during celebrations. When these events last too long throughout the night and into the early morning hours, this can be considered noise pollution.
Night hours last from 11 pm to 7 am. The law allows a maximum noise level between these hours. A warning may be issued if there are complaints about the noise levels. For anyone who chooses not to expose themselves to the noise from these events, it can impact their mental and physical health. Noise pollution can raise blood pressure, causing hypertension and heart disease.
Homes nearby can be protected if New Year’s Eve event organizers block out some noise by using acoustic barriers. These barriers stop noise from being heard by people who did not attend the event.
If you are experiencing hearing loss caused by noise exposure or for any other reason, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
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