The festive season is upon us, bringing with it celebrations, gatherings, and the sounds of holiday cheer. However, amidst the cheerful chaos, it’s crucial to remember to safeguard one of our most precious senses – our hearing.
Why Protecting Your Hearing Matters
The holidays often come with a soundtrack of laughter, music, and celebratory cheers. While these sounds create an atmosphere of joy, they can also pose a risk to your hearing health. Prolonged exposure to loud noises can lead to hearing damage, but by taking some simple precautions towards protecting your hearing, you can enjoy the festivities and ensure that you can continue to enjoy the sounds of the holiday season for years to come.
What Noises Can Be Harmful in the Holiday Season?
Noisy Christmas Toys: The excitement of unwrapping gifts often comes with the addition of noisy children’s toys. While these may bring joy to little ones, according to research from the UK, many children’s toys could damage your child’s hearing if proper precautions are not taken. Dr. Brad Backus said, “Our advice is pretty simple: don’t let your child hold noisy toys too close to their ear and don’t let them play with them for more than an hour a day. Most parents probably don’t want to listen to these toys for too long anyway!” Encourage a balance by providing quiet alternatives or setting time limits for play with noisy toys.
Fireworks: Fireworks are a fun part of many celebrations and are captivating with their bursts of color and light. However, their colorful display is often accompanied by loud explosive sounds that can reach dangerous decibel levels. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) warns that fireworks can produce sounds that can reach more than 140 decibels.
Parties and Gatherings: Festive parties and gatherings are a common part of the holiday season and create an atmosphere of joy. The collective noise generated in these celebratory spaces though can reach surprisingly high levels. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), prolonged exposure to noise levels above 85 decibels can lead to hearing impairment. Many holiday gatherings surpass this threshold, with party music often reaching volumes of 90 decibels or higher.
Concerts and Music Events: Whether it’s a live concert or a musical event, the volume at these locations can be quite high. Many concerts register volumes ranging from 100 to 120 decibels, levels that, when experienced for an extended duration, can lead to permanent hearing damage.
Practical Tips for Hearing Protection
Keep a Safe Distance: Position yourself away from sources of loud noise, especially speakers and amplifiers, to minimize the impact on your ears.
Take Breaks in Quiet Spaces: Amidst the festive hustle, find moments to retreat to quieter areas. This allows your ears to recover from exposure to loud sounds.
Use Hearing Protection: There are a range of hearing protection products that are available in the market, including discrete earplugs all the way up to over ear headphones. These devices are crafted to deliver effective noise reduction while maintaining sound quality.
Turn Down the Volume: Hosting a party? Consider adjusting the volume of the music and keep the sound at a level that allows for conversation without the need to raise voices.
Want to learn more about your hearing health and tips for protecting your hearing?
The information contained in this article shall neither be considered as nor replace professional health or medical advice and is for educational and informational purposes only. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions or concerns you may have about your hearing or medical conditions.