Rock in the New Year with friends, family, food, and fireworks — but don’t forget to care for your hearing as you ooh and ahh over the beautiful fireworks displays. When your ears are exposed to too-loud noises, the cillia, sensitive nerve endings in your ears, can be damaged. A single exposure to intense sound can cause temporary hearing loss that lasts 24-48 hours. As many as 26 million Americans have high-frequency hearing loss. Children are especially vulnerable to hearing loss due to loud noises.

Noise is measured in decibels (db). The louder the sound, the less time you need to be exposed for it to cause hearing loss. A normal conversation measures around 60-65 db. At 90-95 db, you may experience hearing loss if you’re exposed to that level of sound for a prolonged period of time. A loud rock concert measures in at 115-120 db and pain due to sound begins at around 125 db. Firework regulations state that the sound should not exceed 120 db.

To prevent noise-induced hearing loss this New Year’s Eve, consider earplugs or earmuffs (earmuffs are easy ear protection for kids), especially for long shows. For hearing safety as well as physical safety, keep your distance from fireworks and firecrackers.

From all of us at Orlando Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates, we wish you and yours a happy, healthy New Year!

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