Fireworks damage hearing

Fireworks damage hearing 

Fireworks are a beautiful and awe-inspiring way to celebrate special occasions and festive seasons. Their colourful explosions and crackling sounds light up the night sky, adding to the excitement and enjoyment of the event. However, while fireworks may be visually stunning and enjoyable for many, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers and health risks they pose, particularly in terms of hearing loss.

Short exposure to fireworks may lead to permanent hearing loss

The loud explosions and bursts of sound emitted by fireworks can be incredibly harmful to our ears. The noise level produced by fireworks can reach up to 150 decibels, which is significantly higher than the safe threshold for human exposure to sound. According to the World Health Organisation, exposure to 120 decibels of sound for even a short period can cause permanent hearing loss. This means that a mere seconds-long exposure to fireworks can potentially lead to irreversible damage to our hearing.

Fireworks and tinnitus

The long-term effects of fireworks-induced hearing loss can be devastating. Not only can individuals suffer from a reduced ability to hear and understand speech, but they may also experience tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hyperacusis (increased sensitivity to sound), and other auditory and psychological issues. These effects can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, making it more difficult to communicate, engage in social activities, and perform everyday tasks.

Do not forget your four-legged friends!

In addition to the risks posed to humans, it’s important to consider the impact of fireworks on our animal companions. Pets such as dogs and cats are even more susceptible to acoustic trauma due to their heightened sensitivity to sound. The loud explosions of fireworks can cause pets to experience extreme fear, anxiety, and panic, leading to physical and emotional damage. Many pets may try to escape or hide from the noise, potentially putting themselves in dangerous situations.

Given the potential risks associated with fireworks, it’s crucial for individuals to be attentive and take steps to limit exposure. One approach is to remove oneself and others as far apart from the firework explosions as possible. This can help to reduce the intensity of the noise and decrease the likelihood of sustaining hearing damage. Additionally, using ear protection such as earplugs or earmuffs can also help to mitigate the harmful effects of fireworks on hearing.

During firework displays pets should be kept indoors.

Beyond these measures, it’s equally important for pet owners to take proactive steps to protect their animals from the adverse effects of fireworks. If possible, pets should be kept indoors during firework displays, preferably in a room with a closed door and window. This can help to minimise their exposure to the loud noises and provide a safe and secure environment in which they can feel more at ease. Additionally, creating a calming and comforting space for pets with familiar toys, blankets, and treats can help to alleviate their stress and anxiety during fireworks events.

Prevention is better than cure

As responsible citizens, it’s crucial for us to prioritise the safety and well-being of ourselves and our pets during festive celebrations involving fireworks. By remaining mindful of the potential risks and taking appropriate precautions, we can help to ensure that everyone can enjoy the festivities without compromising their hearing health or putting their pets in distress. Whether it’s by limiting exposure, using protective gear, or creating a secure environment for our animals, let’s take the necessary steps to celebrate responsibly and safely.

Hearing Balance Cape Town – Liezel Kotze and the rest of the team wish you a prosperous 2024!

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