As the New Year’s celebration gets underway, it’s a good idea to protect your hearing no matter how you decide to bring in the new year. It’s estimated that over a billion people are at risk of developing hearing loss. Most of this is due to exposure to high-decibel sounds and loud noises, and New Year’s celebrations can be some of the loudest. Before you head out for a good time, make sure to follow these tips to help protect your hearing on NYE.
How to Protect Your Hearing on NYE (and Beyond)
1. Volume Reduction
The easiest way to reduce exposure to high-decibel sounds is to turn down the volume or stand further from the source. Being too close to loudspeakers or explosions can quickly damage hearing. Outdoors, sounds dissipate rapidly, and standing 25 to 50 feet further away cuts down on the volume in a significant way.
2. Use Earplugs or Headphones
It only takes two minutes of exposure to loud sounds, permanently damaging hearing. Using earplugs or headphones will significantly reduce your exposure and protect your hearing from harm. Keep some in your car or your pocket to pass to loved ones to help their hearing as well.
3. Take Breaks
Taking short breaks from loud sounds will also protect your hearing by giving them a chance to rest. Find a quiet spot to cool off and relax for a few moments before returning. Good locations include cars, bathrooms, and some venues even provide quiet areas for this exact reason.
4. Use Noise-Canceling Technology
In the 21st century, there are technological solutions that didn’t exist twenty years ago. Sound measuring apps for your smartphone can give you an idea of just how loud your environment is, giving you a heads-up to danger. Likewise, noise-canceling headphones are designed to measure the sounds around you and provide an equal balance rendering them inert.