Happy birthday America! Fourth of July is a favorite holiday of many around the country. What better way to celebrate than by being outside in the sun, having a cookout with delicious foods, and capping the night off with some fireworks. Depending on state legality, some individuals may even light them off themselves! Check here to see what the laws are for your state.
However, for sufferers of tinnitus (or ringing in the ears), July 4th may be one of their most dreaded days. Fireworks may make symptoms worse, and it’s important to use proper precautions when using and/or watching fireworks. Exposure to loud noise is the leading cause of tinnitus. When possible (as is the case with fireworks), precautions should be taken to limit one’s exposure.
Sound is measured in decibels (dB). The scale is simple: louder noises measure higher decibel readings. Sounds louder than 85 dB can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. Sounds louder than 85 dB may be in short bursts, or in prolonged exposure – both affect the ear in a negative fashion. Fireworks are often short, but an entire show may run for 30 minutes or longer, potentially damaging your ears and hearing.
A firework at 3 feet away measures approximately 150 dB, almost double of the safe range! Here are some helpful tips to ensure your safety this holiday weekend:
- Make sure to allow ample space between yourself and the firework display. Check your state laws before setting off fireworks yourself.
- If you must be close to the firework, wear earplugs for protection.
- Find a location to watch the local fireworks show where the sounds are not disturbing.
By following these tips, a celebratory 4th of July is possible, without risking your hearing and causing tinnitus. If you are experiencing tinnitus or ringing in the ears, Ring Relief may be able to help.