Celebrating our freedom on July 4th is an important American tradition! Family, friends, hotdogs on the grill, hot July summer weather and fireworks once the sun sets. While celebration is going on it is important to remember fireworks can cause damage to your hearing. With a little awareness and and planning ahead, you can enjoy the Fourth of July holiday without the fear of damaging your ears. Whether you are attending a large event hosted in Cleveland or your neighborhood fireworks show, keep hearing protection top of mind for you and your loved ones.
Sound is measured in decibels (dB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that sounds over 85 dB require hearing protection as well time exposure limitations. Fireworks have the potential to have a sound output ranging from 150-175 decibels. The World Health Organization recommends the maximum safe decibel for adults is 140 decibels and 120 decibels for children with the use of hearing protection. Especially important is for infants to not have any exposure to the noise produced from fireworks due to the anatomy of their ear canal. Infants have very small ear canals which therefore makes the sound pressure much greater than an adults.
3 steps you can take to protect your hearing from fireworks include:
- Keep a safe distance. The farther you are from the sound source the better it is for your hearing safety. A safe distance for adults is about 50-60 feet away from the source and 165-200 feet for children.
- Limit your time exposure to hazardous noise. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends only 15 minutes of exposure to a sound that is 115 decibels with the use of hearing protection.
- Wear hearing protection. Hearing protection helps to reduce the sound source. We offer custom hearing molds as a service for the most comfortable fit. If you don’t have that, ear muffs and ear plugs will be appropriate.
We want you to enjoy the 4th of July and the many other sounds life has to offer today and in the years to come.
For more information or to schedule your appointment for a baseline hearing evaluation to get on your journey to better hearing, please call our office at (423) 641-0956 or request an appointment online.