How’s Your Summer Soundtrack Treating You?

Yesterday marked the official beginning of summer! But we’ve already been hearing those warm-weather sounds. From lawn mowers to motorcycles to jet skis to outdoor concerts and fireworks, summer  always has its own soundtrack.

Family Riding  Jet Boat at Sunset

Unfortunately, your summer soundtrack may contribute to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Sound is measured in decibels, and we know that a normal conversation (around 60 decibels) may continue indefinitely with little to no risk of hearing damage. But exposure to noises louder than 85 decibels for a longer period of time may put you at risk for hearing loss. And most people’s summer soundtrack is filled with such at-risk noises:

Summer Soundtrack Typical Level (in decibels) Risk of hearing damage (in minutes)
Conversation 60 dB Little risk over extended time
Lawn Mower 90 dB 8 hours
Jet Ski 115 dB 15 minutes
Outdoor rock concert 120 dB 7 minutes
Fireworks (depending on distance from explosion) 125-150 dB Immediate

Make sure you protect your ears so you can enjoy many more summer soundtracks, including whispers, chirping crickets and wind in trees—those less noisy but meaningful sounds. Always use ear protection when around noises louder than 85 dB or find ways to be around loud noises for as little time as possible.

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One Response to How’s Your Summer Soundtrack Treating You?

  1. Wow, I had no idea that hearing damage was immediate when watching fireworks. I went to like 6 firework shows this year for the 4th of July. I had my kids with me at all of them I need to make sure to bring hearing protection with me to these kinds of things. At least I can mend the error of my ways for new years. I am sure there will be a lot of fireworks for the new year.

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