Summer is here!!! And while most of us know to protect our skin from over exposure to the sun, we rarely think of protecting our hearing to many of the sounds unique to the season. Some of the most common sounds of summer — such as outdoor concerts, fireworks and construction work can pose a threat to your hearing if you don’t take steps to protect yourself.

“Once hearing is damaged, we may not be able to repair it,” Dr. Brian McKinnon, a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeons and member of the Shea Ear Clinic medical staff, said in a recent presentation.

Over ten percent of Americans have hearing loss that affects their ability to understand normal speech. While aging is the most common cause, excessive noise can also damage hearing.

“Hearing loss due to excessive noise is totally preventable, unlike hearing loss due to old age or a medical condition,” McKinnon added.

Earplugs are recommended for prolonged exposure to noise levels of 85 decibels and above, such as: lawnmowers and shop tools (90 decibels); chainsaws and drills (100 decibels); power saws (110 decibels); loud rock concerts (115 decibels); race cars (130 decibels); and fireworks/jet engine takeoff (150 decibels).
It’s a good idea to buy earplugs and keep them in your purse, backpack or briefcase so that you can use them whenever you’re exposed to loud and continuous noise. If you don’t have earplugs handy, you can use your hands or a scarf to cover your ears.

Ear buds for listening to music are a major threat to young people’s hearing, and especially teenagers. Three in five Americans, especially youth, are prone to develop hearing loss due to loud music being delivered through their ear buds. Since modern hearing aids have yet to become status symbols, everyone needs to wise up and turn the volume down on their ear buds, especially our younger population.

Should you or a loved one be experiencing hearing loss, give the Shea Hearing Aid Center a call at 901-415-6667 and ask Judy or Joyce to set you up for a FREE hearing evaluation. You’ll be glad you did and the evaluation won’t cost you anything but your time!