Hobbies keep us active and are good for the soul. However, some hobbies can reach noise levels that could harm your ears and lead to hearing loss. Let’s look at a few fun activities that require hearing protection.
Loud Noise and Hearing Loss Risk
According to the National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), “long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 dBA can cause hearing loss.”
This happens because loud noises can damage the delicate hair cells of the inner ear. These cells play a pivotal role in the hearing process, and once they are damaged, they cannot regenerate or be repaired. Because of this, noise-induced hearing loss is permanent.
Four Loud Hobbies That Can Harm Your Hearing
While not an exhaustive list, some popular hobbies that can harm your hearing include:
- Going to concerts. Most of us love listening to music. Going to live shows at places like The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing Company can uplift our spirits and get our adrenaline pumping. Unfortunately, concerts can also reach volumes above 100 dBA, which can cause tinnitus and hearing loss.
- Playing music. You might not just love going to concerts, but you actually play music as well. Whether you like to get together with your friends from time to time and play in your garage or even if you have the occasional show at a local bar, your ears are going to be continuously exposed to loud noise levels.
- Firearms shooting. The short yet extremely loud bursts of sound that can come from a gun can damage your inner ear cells easily. There’s even a condition called “shooter’s ear,” which is when damage occurs to the ear on the side of a person’s shooting shoulder.
- Riding motorcycles or snowmobiles. While maybe not the first danger you think of when riding one of these vehicles, doing so can absolutely reach levels that can cause permanent hearing loss.
Finding the Right Hearing Protection for You
If you enjoy these or other hobbies that reach louder volumes, you don’t have to give them up. You just need to be sure to use hearing protection to reduce your risk of developing hearing loss. This may be in the form of earplugs, earmuffs or custom ear molds.
What’s right for you will depend on several factors, including cost, comfort and how much sound reduction you need to keep your ears safe while still hearing what you want and need.
To learn more about your hearing protection options or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call Southwestern Hearing & Balance today.