Dangers of Outdoor Noises this Season

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Take Free Online Quiz to Assess Hearing Damage Risks and Get Complimentary Pair of Ear Plugs

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Tinnitus or hearing loss can occur with regular exposure to noise levels of 110 decibels or more for periods longer than one minute

It's the season of buzzing lawn mowers, revving motorcycles, outdoor rock concerts, exploding fireworks and more noise than we may have heard in a while. "Noise is probably the most common occupational hazard facing people today, however, outside of work many people participate in recreational activities that can produce harmful noise that can result in tinnitus (ringing in the ears) with repeated exposure," explains Andrew Cheng, M.D., an otolaryngologist and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at New York Medical College and ear health advisor for Lipo-Flavonoid (http://www.lipoflavonoid.com)] , a clinically-proven, dietary supplement that has shown promising relief for tinnitus sufferers.

How Loud is Too Loud?
Noise is measured in units called decibels, on a scale from zero to 140. The higher the number in decibels, the louder the noise. The louder the noise, the greater the risk of developing tinnitus or even hearing loss. "Tinnitus or hearing loss can occur with regular exposure to noise levels of 110 decibels or more for periods longer than one minute," adds Dr. Cheng.

Some typical summer sounds and their decibel levels:

  • mowing the lawn (95 decibels)
  • riding motorcycles (110)
  • rock concerts (120)
  • exploding firecrackers (150)
  • watching fireworks (130 to 190, depending on how far away you are).

Protect your hearing by avoiding excessively loud noises when possible --- but when exposure to loud noises or activities cannot be avoided you can take a few simple precautions:

  • Alternate noisy activities with periods of quiet
  • Use earplugs or other hearing protectors when you know you are going to be exposed to loud noises for long periods of time (like while mowing the lawn or watching your town's July 4th fireworks display)
  • Limit lengthy periods of loud noise exposure, which includes giving your ears a break from iPods and other devices
  • Be a smart consumer: when buying outdoor equipment for the yard, for instance, look for those with the lowest noise levels

The damage is done:
While there are some treatments available for tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, there is no real cure. Doctors suggest making lifestyle and dietary changes to help ease the intensity of the "ringing" (which can also appear as a whooshing or buzzing sound) including:

  • Avoiding caffeine or alcohol
  • Managing stress
  • Avoiding exposure to additional loud noises which can aggravate tinnitus further (invest in a good pair of ear plugs).
  • Taking Lipo-Flavonoid, a nutritional supplement that contains a complex of B vitamins proven to help decrease the intensity of tinnitus. Dr. Cheng recommends it to his tinnitus patients because he sees improvement in seven out of 10 patients. The exact formulation of ingredients in Lipo-Flavonoid® has been clinically-tested to demonstrate relief.
  • Controlling blood pressure
  • Decreasing salt/sodium intake

If you're still not hearing well or your ears feel odd after several days, Dr. Cheng recommends making an appointment with an ear, nose and throat doctor or your health care provider. "Cherish your hearing; take precautions all year round," he concludes.

For more information or to take an online quiz to assess your hearing health and to receive a free pair of ear plugs (while supplies last), visit http://www.stopearringing.com.]

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Laura Giardina
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