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Fireworks and the danger of hearing loss

Last update on Jun, 04, 2021

Give me Liberty...and a set of ear plugs

Who doesn’t love the 4th of July? Sunny weather, time with friends and family, lots of summer food…and of course, fireworks. While fireworks are a quintessential part of enjoying the 4th of July holiday, one of the main dangers of fireworks has to do with potential hearing loss. We at Miracle-Ear encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions to protect your hearing.

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Noise from fireworks can reach up to 155 decibels. To put this into perspective, this is louder than a jackhammer (130 dB) or a jet plane taking off (150 dB). Damage to hearing can come from multiple lifetime exposures, extended exposure up to eight hours, or a one-time blast. According to the Centers for Disease Control, loud noise over 120 dB can cause immediate harm to your hearing.


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The risk of homemade fireworks

Surprisingly, the greatest risk of hearing loss is not the professional fireworks displays (although these can pose a risk), but the backyard fireworks people use due to the proximity of the sound.

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, it has the potential to cause irreversible hearing loss. Your hearing can be immediately and permanently damaged. The National Institutes of Health recommends using ear plugs when around fireworks or other loud noises. Remember the old adage, “It's better to be safe than sorry."

People looking at fireworks

Enjoy a summer worry-free

If you're planning on being around fireworks this summer, play it safe. Make an appointment with a Miracle-Ear hearing specialist to find out what hearing protection options are right for you and your family.

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