Protect Your Hearing This Summer

It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy. But outdoor activities can lead to noise-induced hearing loss if you are not careful. People of all ages should take extra precautions to protect their hearing during the summer months, especially with the notoriously loud holiday of 4th of July coming up!

When the weather is warm, our natural inclination is to go outside. Many popular summer activities can be hazardous to our ears due to high decibel levels. Prolonged exposure to the sounds of lawn mowers, power tools, motorized vehicles, sporting events, concerts and fireworks can all lead to irreversible hearing damage. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your ears safe and prevent long-term damage.

How Loud is too loud - decibel levels

The following tips are recommended by the Better Hearing Institute, an organization devoted to educating the public about proper hearing health, and helping those with hearing loss benefit from proper treatment.

  • Use earplugs. When you are going to be exposed to loud sounds, wear earplugs to prevent damage to your hearing. Disposable earplugs made of foam or silicone are readily available and will allow you to hear music and conversations while blocking dangerously loud sounds. Custom ear protection crafted from earmolds will perfectly fit the unique contours of your ears, guaranteeing a snug, proper fit and dependable protection.

  • Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Fireworks are synonymous with the 4th of July, but they represent an extreme noise hazard and should be restricted to professionals. The bang from a single firecracker at close range can cause immediate and permanent hearing damage. When watching fireworks, enjoy them from a distance. Earplugs will provide an extra level of hearing protection without detracting from the festivities.

  • Take measures to protect against swimmer’s ear. There’s nothing more refreshing than a cool swim on a hot day, but when water enters the ear canals it can lead to a painful infection known as swimmer’s ear. To protect against this, invest in a pair of swimmer’s plugs. Dry your ears thoroughly after swimming, and make sure to tilt your head to the side to drain any residual water from your ear canals. Avoid swimming in water where bacterial counts are high (look for signs posted at the local beach).

Reach out to our team with any questions on how you and your family can keep your ears safe this summer!

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Jody Vaynshtok

Jody is a California-licensed speech language pathologist with eight years of industry and clinical experience. She has worked with both adult and pediatric populations during her time at private practice, birth-to-three, and hospital facilities. She is experienced in the assessment and treatment of a variety of communication and cognitive disorders. In addition, Jody has a passion for working with adults looking to achieve clearer communication. Jody received her BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences and MS in Medical Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Washington. She was a part of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford’s cleft and craniofacial clinic participating in the multidisciplinary assessment and treatment of children born with craniofacial abnormalities. She holds a staff position at UCSF and is the lead speech language pathologist for the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s Hearing Loss Clinic. When she's not busy having fun with her clients Jody enjoys spending time with her husband, Anton, friends and family. And if she's not headed out somewhere fun for dinner, you might find her at Bar Method working out!