June 2011

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Health Capsule

Listen Safely When Summer Sounds Abound

When you think of the sounds of summer, you may conjure up the soft tinkle of the ice cream truck ambling down the street or the chirping of crickets outside your window at night. But that’s only part of the story. Some of the sounds you’re exposed to during summer months can be as loud as if you were working in a factory or at a construction site. And people in those occupations are required to wear hearing protection!

Attending summer concerts, watching a monster truck show at the fair, riding a personal watercraft, watching fireworks—these are the activities that make summer so much fun. But they can also wreak havoc on your hearing if they expose you to loud noises for too long. Your power lawn mower, weed trimmer and chainsaw can also damage your hearing if used repeatedly with no earplugs or earmuffs.

Here’s a tip: If you have to shout to be heard over the noise, then it’s likely loud enough to damage your hearing. If you find yourself in those situations, walk away from the sound, turn down the volume or wear hearing protection.

Learn more about how to enjoy the sounds of summer for life at NIH’s Noisy Planet campaign website at www.noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov, or call 800-241-1044 or 800-241-1055 (TTY).