Halloween is a time for dressing up, trick-or-treating and attending a variety of fun and festive activities. However, it’s important to know that certain events, like a haunted house or Halloween parties, may be loud enough to put you at risk for noise-induced hearing loss.
What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can occur from prolonged exposure to any sound above a volume of 85 decibels (dB). Your likelihood of developing hearing loss depends both on the amount of time you’re exposed as well as the volume level. Unsurprisingly, louder volumes take less time to cause hearing loss. Noises above 100 dB (common at large events or live concerts) can cause damage in two hours.
Unfortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is a growing problem among people of all ages. It’s estimated that “12.5% of children and adolescents aged 6–19 years and 17% of adults aged 20–69 years have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive exposure to noise.”
Tips for Protecting Your Hearing This Halloween
Thankfully, you don’t have to cancel any of the spooky fun activities you have planned this Halloween in order to keep your ears safe. You just need to take the proper precautions.
- Use hearing protection devices (HPDs). Things like earplugs, earmuffs and custom earmolds can effectively keep your ears safe while still allowing you to participate in activities you enjoy. Make sure to find an HPD that fits well and reduces the volume while still allowing you to hear the sounds you want to hear.
- Give your ears a break. Your risk of noise-induced hearing loss increases with the length of your exposure. If you’re at a party or a busy club that is particularly loud, try to step outside or go into a quieter room for a bit to decrease your risk.
- Get a hearing test at the earliest sign of hearing loss. Because hearing loss is often both gradual and progressive, an early diagnosis is key to preventing further damage. If you notice you’re your hearing seems muffled while at work or when talking with the barista at Medlar Coffee Co., or if you experience a ringing or buzzing in your ears, make an appointment with an audiologist at your earliest convenience.
To learn more tips for protecting your hearing this season or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call Nelson Hearing Clinics today.