As the leaves start to change color, it signals that fall is on the way. It’s a beautiful season, but unfortunately it can also bring some threats to your hearing. Whether you have a diagnosed hearing loss or not, we have some tips to help protect your hearing.
Sounds of the Season
The cooler weather brings a mixture of fun and challenging things to our lives. There are a lot of things about the fall that expose us to loud noise and this can pose the risk of noise induced hearing loss. Even when temporary, it’s uncomfortable and often accompanied by tinnitus symptoms. But if the exposure is repeated you may even end up with permanent damage to your hearing.
Exposure to sounds over 80dB for a prolonged period can cause damage. But the louder the sound, the quicker damage can occur.
Here are some of the fall related sounds to be aware of …
- Winter sports should be done with adequate protection for your hearing. For example a Snowmobile can register at 78dB which is almost loud enough to damage your hearing. Protect yourself from the cold and reduce the risk by wearing protection.
- With all those fallen leaves you might leave the rake in the shed and reach for the leaf blower. But beware as they can reach 85dB so limit yourself to less than 2 hours and use ear plugs.
- When the weather gets particularly bad, the salt lorries get to work. Whilst this keeps things moving in our modern world, pay attention to much you are hearing them and take steps to protect your hearing. At 85-90dB it takes only 2 hours to damage your hearing.
- Clearing your drive etc with a snow blower could take longer than you realise and at 92dB be sure to not exceed 2 hours and do use adequate protection.
- If you get a chance to use the lawn mower, remember to use some protection. At an average of 100 Db, it may only take 14 minutes to cause damage.
- If you partake in hunting please protect your hearing. Just one shot from a hunting rifle is 140+dB. Unprotected, this is loud enough to cause immediate and permanent damage to your hearing.
Feeling the Chill
The cold itself is also a potential problem for your ears, as we discussed in our blog on about how the cold affects your hearing. Use earmuffs, an ear covering headband or a hat with ear flaps to protect your ears from the cold and excess water vapour in the air.
Also help your immune system by eating plenty of vitamin dense foods and getting enough exercise in order to fend off any seasonal ailments such as colds. Here is some more helpful advice.
What to Do
Awareness of noises is only part of protecting your hearing. Owning and using suitable protection is another. We recommend ear plugs or over ear headphones for any noisy activities, (you can also find bespoke ear plugs made to suit your ears).
If you are concerned about the cold affecting your hearing aid or you wish to have a check up before the cold weather returns, come in and see our hearing care team. Please call us on 507-208-7002 or click here to book your next appointment today.