Who doesn’t love the 4th of July? Sunny weather, time with friends and family, lots of summer food…and of course, fireworks. While fireworks are a quintessential part of enjoying the 4th of July holiday, they can damage our hearing and we at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions to protect your hearing.
Noise from fireworks can reach up to 155 decibels. To put this into perspective, this is louder than a jackhammer (130 dB) or a jet plane taking off (150 dB). Damage to hearing can come from multiple lifetime exposures, extended exposure up to eight hours, or a one-time blast. According to the Centers for Disease Control, loud noise over 120 dB can cause immediate harm to your hearing.
Surprisingly, the greatest risk to hearing is not the professional fireworks displays (although these can pose a risk), but the backyard fireworks people use themselves to celebrate because of the proximity of the sound. Never hold a firework or firecracker, with the intention to throw it before it explodes. Even if you do throw it in time (to avoid injury to your hands and face), if it is anywhere close to you when it explodes, your hearing can be immediately and permanently damaged. The National Institutes of Health recommends using ear plugs when around fireworks or other loud noises. Remember the old adage, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Experiencing hearing loss? We can help. Give Tim Harmon a call at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah at (270) 558-3996 or stop by our office located at 2008 Broadway, Paducah, KY.