Spring is an excellent time to get outdoors, enjoy the sunshine and return to hobbies and activities you postponed during winter. However, you’re more likely to be exposed to environmental noises that negatively affect your hearing during springtime.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a hearing impairment caused by loud sounds and occurs after exposure to sounds over 85 decibels. It’s important to be aware of common spring sounds that damage your ears and hearing.
Loud Activities That Can Affect Your Hearing
Gardening and lawncare: If you feel the urge to spruce up your yard, don’t forget to invest in hearing protection. Power tools, DIY projects and construction noise increase your risk for noise exposure. Purchasing custom ear protection or disposable earplugs will protect your hearing from permanent damage.
Common sources of noise exposure from gardening activities include:
- Lawnmowers: 82 to 90 decibels
- Weed whackers: 96 decibels
- Leaf blowers: 80 to 92 decibels
Motorcycle noise: For some, spring is the time to break out the motorcycle and hit the road for a long drive. While motorcycles built during or after 1979 aren’t supposed to exceed 84 decibels, many are still modified and can exceed 100 decibels. Wearing hearing protection while you ride will prevent you and your passenger from sustaining permanent hearing damage.
Avoid Moisture Exposure During Spring Activities
Water sports: Moisture damages the delicate electronic components in your hearing aids and increases your risk for an ear infection. Remove your hearing aids before you go for a dip, and dry them thoroughly with a clean cloth, drying kit or hairdryer if they get wet. Dry your ears after you go for a swim before you reinsert your hearing aids. There are certain waterproof hearing aids from Phonak that are waterproof and ideal for wearing at the pool or beach. Contact Audio Help Hearing Centers to learn about these hearing aids.
Exercise: The salt in your sweat is corrosive to your hearing aids. Wearing a sweatband, bandana or scarf during your workout or sporting event can help prevent moisture and salt from damaging your devices.
Live events: A loud concert or performance can cause immediate hearing loss. Wearing hearing protection during those outings will lower your risk of short- and long-term hearing damage. Disposable earplugs are inexpensive and available at most drugstores, so you can buy a pair, wear them during your outing and dispose of them when you’re done.
Protect Your Ears from the Elements
While you’re outdoors enjoying the warmer weather, be mindful of wind and debris, which can cause problems for your hearing aids. High winds could cause feedback in your hearing aids, which can be uncomfortable and irritating. Wind also whips up dust, dirt and other debris that can build up on your hearing aids and cause malfunctions.
Fluctuating temperatures affect the pressure in your ears, causing them to feel blocked. That may also make you feel dizzy and imbalanced.
Like dust and debris, pollen and other environmental allergens settle on your ears and hearing devices and cause irritation. Seasonal allergies cause inflammation in the Eustachian tube, causing conductive hearing loss. You may also experience itchiness in your nose, throat and ears. Talk to your doctor and audiologist about over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines to treat your discomfort.
Audio Help Hearing Centers is Here for You
The expert doctors of audiology at Audio Help Hearing Centers will work with you to address your seasonal hearing needs. We offer comprehensive hearing evaluations that will identify the cause and severity of your hearing loss. Our hearing aid and accessory inventories include a variety of styles and devices to suit your unique needs and protect your hearing.