How can fireworks cause hearing loss? An audiologist explains


HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — With many fireworks displays across the country being cancelled due to COVID-19, some places are still allowing the sale of backyard fireworks. However, the American Academy of Audiology wants to make sure the public is protecting their hearing.

Each year, a growing number of Americans are reporting hearing loss. While some of this is due to aging and other factors, according to an audiologist, exposure to loud noise like fireworks is also a leading cause of hearing loss.

Fireworks are arranged from about 130 to 150 decibels. That is extremely loud, and can be instantly damaging if the person is too close.

To put this into perspective, if you are conducting your own personal fireworks, or if you are close enough to fireworks it can sound louder than a jet plane taking off  or a jackhammer, which evidently can cause serious hearing problems.

That kind of hearing loss can be permanent, and there’s not a medical treatment for it, so you want to ensure that you protect yourself, if you are conducting personal fireworks.

“Noise induced hearing loss is indiscriminate, it happens to anybody at any age, there are some data that young kids may be more susceptible for damage and that once there is damage, they can continue to have loss over time.” said Catherine Palmer, Director of Audiology UPMC.

Health professionals want to encourage everyone to protect themselves, and stay safe if you will be using personal fireworks.


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