June 24, 2014Immediate Release
Fireworks Can Lead to Hearing Loss
OMAHA, NEB. - Whether you are shooting fireworks in your drive-way or watching a public display, you could be at risk of having some hearing damage.
Fireworks produce a sound output that is in the 150 to 175 decibel range.
There are two things to note when considering whether or not fireworks will have the potential to cause hearing loss:
Children would have to stand 50 to 60 meters away from that same firework. Infants should not be exposed to fireworks, because they generally experience the greatest amount of sound pressure.
"You can think about watering trees," said Nathan Williams, AuD., Audiologist at Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat Institute. "When you put your thumb over the mouth of the hose, the diameter of the opening is smaller and the pressure of the water is greater. The diameter of a child’s ear canal is smaller, and thus the sound pressure built up in a child’s ear canal is great, resulting in a perceived louder sound by the child."
Exposure to louds sounds can result in the following:
Roll down foam ear plugs or headphones that sit over top of the ear can offer some protection against the loud noise. If you will be setting off fireworks or are watching nearby, both roll-down foam plugs and headphones are strongly recommended for maximum hearing protection.
If a person suspects that they have had a change in hearing, a hearing test is advised. This is done so that if changes have occurred, the doctor can determine if it is a temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Although fireworks are exciting, it is important to realize they can be dangerous to your hearing. With the right precautions you and your family and friends can enjoy a happy and safe Fourth of July.
ABOUT BOYS TOWN NATIONAL RESEARCH HOSPITALBoys Town National Research Hospital is internationally recognized as a leader in clinical and research programs focusing on childhood deafness, visual impairment and related communication disorders. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, Boys Town Hospital has developed national medical programs that are now instituted in hospitals and clinics across the country.