Top Hobbies that Require Hearing Protection
Whether you already experience hearing loss or not, hearing protection is a crucial investment that can improve your quality of life for the long haul. By protecting your ears from noise exposure and related threats, you can successfully prevent new conditions and slow the progression of existing issues.
The fact of the matter is that you need to protect your hearing in a wide range of situations because our ears weren’t designed to be subjected to the loud sounds of engines, machines, and noisy electronic items. Here are five hobbies where dedicated hearing protection is advised.
Hearing damage can occur past 70dB, and gunshots can reach sound levels of 140dB. So, if you plan to spend time at the shooting range or a clay pigeon shoot, you should wear ear defenders or another form of hearing protection. This will protect your ears against the sounds made when you pull the trigger, as well as the explosions made by others.
Shooting ear defenders can also include microphones and Bluetooth to allow communication with other users.
If you’ve ever noticed a ringing in your ears after a music gig, it’s because the sound levels often exceed 110dB. While a single gig is unlikely to cause much damage (after all, the noise isn’t constant), regular exposure to loud music can cause hearing loss. Wearing earplugs is vital for regular gig-goers, musicians, and music producers alike.
If you listen to music via headphones, you can protect yourself further by setting a sound limit on the device.
Vehicle engines are loud, but most car drivers won’t need to worry about their hearing on general day-to-day journeys. However, when riding a motorbike, the exposure to sound is far greater, which is why earplugs are essential. Even when riding around town, their value to your long-term hearing is huge.
Meanwhile, car drivers that want to race around their local track will benefit from hearing protection too.
If you are a DIY enthusiast who loves completing home improvements, you will likely use power tools. Their noise, combined with how close you are to the sound source, should encourage you to wear some form of hearing protection. The choice between off-the-shelf and custom earmolds is up to you.
Either way, leaving yourself exposed to the noise created by carpentry tools and similar items is never advised.
Loud noises aren’t the only threat to your hearing health. Infections caused by bacteria growth must also be avoided. They are most commonly caused by water trapped in the ear canal, so frequent swimmers should wear earplugs to stop this from happening. Without them, the ears can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
Standard foam earplugs will work perfectly fine for most users, although custom hearing protection is available too.
Hearing protection is additionally required in a wide range of workplace settings where loud noises are commonplace. While employers are responsible for protecting employees, your audiologist can advise you whether you could benefit from additional support.