When you’re jet skiing on a hot summer day, are you thinking about hearing loss? You should be, according to the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jet skiing is only one of the popular summertime activities that harbor hazards to your hearing. Others include:
- Watching summer fireworks on the 4th of July
- Mowing the lawn
- Using a gas lawn edger to manicure the lawn
- Using power tools for that summer project
- Watching a baseball game and cheering on your favorite team
- Attending a summer concert
- Exercise class
- Watching a stock car race
- Motor boating, and even
- Going to the movies
Everyday sounds typically do not damage your hearing. However, activities that produce harmful sound levels, such as attending loud sporting events and music concerts and using power tools may, when repeated over time, cause hearing loss.
Loud noise can damage sensitive parts of the ear, causing ringing or buzzing in the ear (tinnitus), increased sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis), and hearing loss. Repeated exposure to loud noise over the years affects how well you hear later in life and how quickly you develop hearing problems, even after exposure has stopped.
Avoiding noisy situations is the best prevention. But if you can’t avoid the noise, use adequate hearing protection. You can protect your hearing and still do the things you enjoy.
The NCEH is encouraging you to “go social” with your hearing protection by snapping a selfie of yourself wearing noise-cancelling headphones while participating in noisy activities this summer and sharing on social media. Use the hashtag #SafeHearingSelfie to encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to protect their hearing while enjoying their favorite activities this summer.