After attending a rock concert or a packed college football game, it’s normal to notice an adjustment period afterward where you simply can’t hear as well as you typically do. You might even notice a ringing in your ears. This is common and, according to the CDC, will usually return to normal in a short time frame of a few hours or a few days. This is because the hair cells, similar to blades of grass, will bend more if the sound is louder. But they will become straight again after a recovery period (source).
A permanent problem, however, can arise if your ears are exposed to compromising situations on a regular basis. Frequent exposure to loud noise can cause damage to the hair cells in the ear, and with too much exposure, some of them will die or be destroyed. Over time, this can reduce your ability to hear at an optimal level. This doesn’t mean you have to sell your season tickets or give up your pension for live rock and roll. It simply (may) mean that you have to protect your ears when you are enjoying your hobbies. Be sure to review this list of common hobbies that could damage your hearing, if left unprotected.
4 Hobbies That Require Hearing Protection
Whether you love Supercross or Monster Trucks, these events are fun but loud. Frequently, you’ll see attendees wearing protective hearing devices while attending motorsport events, simply because the loud noise gives them a headache. Still, more importantly, they are protecting their hearing from overexposure to loud noise.
2. Music Events
From DJing your friends’ weddings to headbanging at the local rock show, music is a great way to blow off steam. It does come with a price, however. Loud music can cause temporary and permanent damage to hearing. Professional musicians like Chris Martin of Coldplay, Eric Clapton and Sting have all reported issues such as permanent hearing loss, migraines and tinnitus from regular exposure to loud music.
From shooting rifles at the gun range to tossing up clay pigeons in the field, shooting guns is a great American pastime. The noise that comes from the gun when in close proximity to the ear makes it a detriment to your hearing (in most cases). You can still enjoy this invigorating hobby with the risk of hearing loss as long as you take hearing protection into consideration.
4. Loud Equipment
Whether you play Mr. or Mrs, Fix It on the weekends or own the full-time title as your job Monday through Friday, loud equipment like power blades, jackhammers, mowers, chainsaws and drills can cause damage to hearing even in short spurts. It is important to consider hearing protection even for “once in a while” exposure.
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