Keep ears happy on

New Year's Eve

As the clock ticks down to the fresh new year, the excitement builds and then explodes with a spectacular firework display.

For hearing aid users and everyone else who is out late to welcome in the new year, it is vital to take the right precautions.

Beware! Fireworks are as loud as gunshots

A few good bangs are all part of the fun, but every exploding firework or banger can exceed 120 dB with ease – far above the safe level of 85 dB. Just a few minutes spent close to exploding fireworks could cause hearing loss, so be sure to stay a safe distance away.

Consider wearing (affordable!) hearing protection

Experts agree that extended exposure to noise over 85 decibels is dangerous. Wear hearing protection if the display will last a while or if you will be close to the fireworks, or if you have any doubts at all. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to protect your ears. Foam earplugs are cheap, simple and easily available from a pharmacy. They can reduce the levels of noise by up to 35 decibels, but check the instructions on the packet.

Small ears need special protection

If it is too loud for you, then it’s definitely too loud for them. Children’s ears are more sensitive than adult ears and are even more susceptible to the dangers of loud noise. Hearing loss also has a more profound effect on children because it can affect their cognitive development. Get kid’s earplugs at your pharmacy, or buy ear defenders at a hardware store.


Keep ears warm and working well

When we are outside in the cold of the midnight hour, our ears get less blood flowing to them. This increases the risk of ear infections, so it makes good sense to keep them wrapped up with ear warmers, earmuffs or ear defenders. In fact, keep all of your body warm; catching a cold can temporarily increase hearing loss too.

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