Celebrate Safely This Fourth of July: Three Tips for Hearing Protection

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Independence Day One of the Noisiest American Holidays, Says ASHA

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As Americans gear up for the long Independence Day weekend, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends a few simple steps to help prevent any potential hearing damage that can result from all the revelry—which can stay around long after the holiday is over. With the traditional festivities involving fireworks, firecrackers, and concerts, the Fourth of July is one of the noisiest American holidays.

Noise from fireworks register 150 decibels, more than a jackhammer (130 decibels), jet plane takeoff (120 decibels), and chainsaw (100 decibels).

Sounds louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss, so celebrate safely with these simple tips:

1.    Keep a safe distance. Stay at least 500 feet from fireworks, firecrackers, speakers, and other sources of loud noise.
2.    Wear earplugs. These are an inexpensive and easy way to protect your hearing. Use earmuffs for young children.
3.    Know your limits. Avoid noises that are “too loud” and “too close” or that last “too long.”

If you ever have any concerns about your hearing, including pain or ringing in the ear, seek an evaluation from a certified audiologist. A list of professionals by local area is available at http://www.asha.org/profind.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 186,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders. http://www.asha.org

View all ASHA press releases at http://www.asha.org/about/news.

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Francine Pierson
ASHA
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