This upcoming weekend celebrates the United States’ day of independence, declared by the continental congress on July 4, 1776, liberating the 13 North American colonies from Great Britain. Celebrations have changed and evolved over the last 200 years, and now no summer evening would be complete without the trademark sound of fireworks.
However fun this may be, it’s important to remember that the sound of fireworks can reach up to 155 decibels. To put this into perspective, this is louder than a jet plane taking off (150 decibels from 25 meters away) or a jackhammer (approximately 100 decibels).
To make sure that you are enjoying the bright lights and sparks in the safest way possible, protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss when lighting fireworks in your backyard, which is riskier than attending professional fireworks shows or displays.
Stand far enough away from fireworks at all times, and never hold a firework in your hand when lit. Wear earplugs or headphones, especially for children, to protect their ears from fireworks and other loud noises.
An audiologist is a vital part of hearing health and balance care, and can help with noise-induced hearing loss that happens over time, as well as from one noise exposure incidence. If you’re worried about any signs of hearing loss after the weekend, or want to get an annual check-up, please Find an Audiologist near you and schedule an appointment.
Signs of hearing loss include:
- Hearing ringing, buzzing, or hissing noises one or more days after exposure to fireworks.
- Muffled hearing after the fireworks.
- Suddenly having to turn up the volume of the television, radio, or stereo and having other family members complain that the volume is too loud.
- Difficulty understanding people speaking to you and asking people to repeat themselves.
- Difficulty with phone conversations and understanding the other person.
- Sudden inability to hear the door bell, crickets, the dog barking, and other household sounds.
- Difficulty understanding speech in background noise.
If you’re an audiologist or hearing health professional, you can share this article or press release to raise awareness about the issue of protecting your hearing during the fourth of July weekend. This issue is gaining national attention on news outlets citing Academy recommendations and statistics to help the patients we serve. Please share with your networks to keep hearing health top of mind.
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