The next time you throw your child a birthday party at Alliance Children’s Garden, you may want to consider bringing earplugs. Not for the screaming children, but for the balloons.
Popped Balloons May Damage Your Hearing
A new study from the University of Alberta indicates that the volume created from a popped balloon may be strong enough to damage your hearing.
Researchers were curious to see how the volume from a popped balloon measures up against other damaging sounds. They measured the noise effects by busting balloons in three different ways:
- Popping them with a pin
- Blowing them up until they ruptured
- Crushing them until they burst
They found that the average impulse level of a ruptured balloon was more intense than a 12-gauge shotgun and nearly as intense as a 357 magnum.
While the authors of the study were quick to note that this did not mean you had to forgo balloons at your next celebration, they do believe it is a reason to be mindful of this kind of noise exposure. It may be wise to consider not allowing balloons to be popped at a party or using hearing protection when they are being popped to protect you and your child’s ears.
Other Causes of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Popped balloons are far from the only noise that can damage your hearing. In fact, exposure to loud noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss next to aging. Any noise over 85 decibels (dB) has the potential to damage your ears. The louder the noise, the less time it takes for damage to occur.
Other activities that may cause noise-induced hearing loss include, but are not limited to:
- Attending loud concerts
- Riding motorcycles and snowmobiles
- Working construction
- Listening to music at high volume through earbuds or headphones
- Mowing the lawn
- Using a leaf blower
What To Do if You Think You Have Hearing Loss
If you’ve noticed that you have difficulty following conversations or hearing what’s on TV, schedule an appointment for a hearing test. An audiologist will be able to assess your hearing ability, and if you are experiencing hearing loss, be able to identify both the cause and severity to determine the best course of treatment.
Using hearing aids or other devices can help improve your hearing ability and keep you connected and engaged as you move through your daily life.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment with a specialist, contact Victory Hearing & Balance today.