Ringing in the new year shouldn’t be a deafening experience, so protect your hearing, experts advise.
Loud music, fireworks, party horns, kazoos and other noisemakers can all help usher in 2020 with a blast, but can also cause ringing in your ears or even permanent hearing damage, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Here are five tips from the association to help you weather the noise:
- Stay at least 500 feet away from the source of noise, such as speakers or fireworks.
- Wear earplugs or earmuffs at concerts and fireworks displays or in any loud environment. Most drugstores have cheap, suitable earplugs.
- Give yourself a break from the noise by taking a couple of minutes away every hour.
- Download a noise-level app on your smartphone so you can keep track of the sound level. Generally, 75 to 80 decibels are a safe level. While these apps may not be 100% accurate, they can give you a good idea of the noise level in the area.
- If you have ringing in your ears or any other ear discomfort, leave. If you continue to have ringing, discomfort or trouble hearing the next day, see a hearing specialist.
More than 1 billion young people around the world are at risk of hearing loss from exposure to noisy leisure settings and technology devices. Hearing loss from noisy environments is completely preventable, but once it happens, it’s irreversible.
For more ways to protect your hearing, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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