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8 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 July, 2018 10:30:43 PM
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Fireworks are hard on your hearing

Fireworks are hard 
on your hearing

Your hearing can take a beating during Fourth of July fireworks. So don't forget hearing protection when you go to fireworks displays this holiday, the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) says. Noise from fireworks can reach up to 155 decibels, which is louder than a jet plane taking off (150 decibels) or a jackhammer. Noise over 120 decibels can cause immediate harm to hearing, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You may be surprised to learn that backyard fireworks, not professional displays, pose the greatest risk to hearing. "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, permanently damaged," said Jackie Clark, president of the AAA. Clark is also a clinical professor at the UT Dallas School of Brain & Behavior Sciences.

"The inner ear contains delicate hair cells which do not regrow. Once these are damaged by noise, the result is permanent hearing impairment," she explained in an academy news release.

"Children are at particular risk for hearing loss from backyard fireworks displays, because of their excitement and curiosity and wishing to be close to the activity," Clark said.

Hearing protection should be used when around fireworks or other loud noises, the US National Institutes of Health advises.

About 15 per cent (37.5 million) of American adults aged 20 to 69 have some trouble with hearing, and about 29 million could benefit from the use of hearing aids, according to the NIH.

Watching a fireworks display can be a treat for your eyes, but the noise can be a threat to your ears.

If you plan on watching fireworks this Fourth of July, there are a number of things you should do to protect your hearing, according to Dr Maria Suurna. She is an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.

"The best way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is to avoid loud noise exposure. Exposure to sounds above 85 decibels (dB) can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss," she said in a hospital news release.

Maintain a safe distance from the source of fireworks, Suurna advised.

Be sure to protect children and infants from loud fireworks. They're more likely to suffer hearing damage at lower noise levels than adults, she explained.

"If you cannot avoid excessive firework noise, it's recommended to wear hearing protection devices, such as earplugs and earmuffs," Suurna said.

Be alert for symptoms of possible hearing damage, such as ringing in the ears, as well as ear fullness, pressure or pain. See your doctor if you develop symptoms or suspect hearing loss after watching fireworks, Suurna suggested.

First is the distance from the sound source. The farther away you get from the firework explosion, the lower the decibel level will be and hence less likely to affect your hearing. If dealing with fireworks of 170 dB, adults needs to be 15 to 20 meters away from the fireworks before they are at a safe distance, while children have to be 50 to 60 meters away from the same fireworks.

Second is the use of ear plugs or headphones to protect the ears against the loud sound output. “If you will be setting off fireworks or are watching nearby, both roll-down foam plugs and headphones are strongly recommended for maximum hearing protecting”, Williams stress.

HealthDay

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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