The 4th of July and fireworks go hand in hand. A day to celebrate our independence, the excitement of colorful pyrotechnics is one thing many of us look forward to. In addition to fireworks, many of us enjoy time spent outdoors and barbecuing on the holiday. But sometimes loud environments can have an impact on your hearing. So we’ve put together these tips to protect your hearing this 4th July.
Let’s agree, fireworks are exciting. Between the showers of multicolored sparks to the rumbling of the of the big bangs, it’s not hard to see why fireworks hold an appeal. But while ‘ooohing’ and ‘aaahing,’ did you know that fireworks can actually damage your hearing?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “The daily recommended safe volume level of any sound is below 85 decibels (dB) for a maximum duration of eight hours.” Firework explosions can reach up to 150 – 175 decibels, above the level outlined by the WHO for safe hearing.
How To Enjoy Fireworks Safely
You can still enjoy fireworks and keep your hearing safe. There are a number of things to consider to help protect your hearing this 4th July.
Proximity – How close are you to the source of the fireworks? The further away you are from the explosion, the less of a threat it poses to your hearing. You can still enjoy the spectacular visual array and the effects of the large explosions from a distance that is safe for your ears.
How loud is it? – The WHO recommends that the maximum safe dB level for adults is 140 dB, and for children only 120 dB when watching fireworks. If a firework explodes at 170 dB, you would need to stand between 50 – 60 feet away to be safe. Children would need to stand even further away.
Other tips that you can consider:
- Where possible, attend professional shows that are normally set up with safe hearing distances in mind.
- Consider hearing protection. At Oviatt Hearing & Balance, our team would be happy to discuss suitable hearing protection for you.
- If you experience any ringing in your ears, move to a more quiet environment.
There’s no reason not to enjoy yourself this 4th July. But remember to take care of your hearing too. If you suspect that your hearing may have been damaged, please don’t delay seeking a hearing assessment. Give the hearing care professionals at Oviatt Hearing & Balance a call today on 888-342-4734. We have four convenient audiology center locations in New York: Camillus, Manlius, Oswego, and Syracuse.