Skip to navigation menu Skip to content
Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Another Fireworks Hazard: Loss of Hearing

Another Fireworks Hazard: Loss of Hearing

FRIDAY, July 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Add hearing loss to the many dangers posed by fireworks.

More than 40 million Americans have some type of hearing loss, and about 10 million of those cases can be attributed to noise, according to the American Academy of Audiology.

Noise from fireworks can reach 155 decibels — louder than a jet plane taking off (150 decibels from 82 feet away) or a jackhammer (about 100 decibels), the academy warned.

Hearing damage can result from multiple lifetime exposures or a single loud blast. Noise over 120 decibels can cause immediate harm to hearing, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When it comes to fireworks, backyard fireworks pose a greater risk than professional displays, the academy said in a news release.

"Never hold a firework or firecracker, with the intention to throw it before it explodes," said Angela Shoup, president of the audiology academy. "Even if you do throw it in time (to avoid injury to your hands and face), if it is anywhere close to you when it explodes, your hearing can be immediately and permanently damaged."

Shoup explained that the inner ear contains delicate hair cells, which don't grow back.

"Once these are damaged by noise, the result may be permanent hearing loss," she said. In addition to her role with the audiology academy, Shoup is executive director of the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends using ear plugs or other hearing protection when around fireworks or other loud noises.

"Children are at particular risk for hearing loss from 'backyard' fireworks displays, because of their excitement and curiosity and wishing to be close to the activity," Shoup explained.

Signs of hearing loss may include:

  • Muffled hearing, or ringing, buzzing or hissing noises in the ears one or more days after exposure to fireworks.

  • Suddenly having to turn up the TV, radio or stereo as others complain the volume is too loud.

  • Difficulty understanding speech and asking people to repeat themselves, as well as difficulty with phone conversations.

  • Sudden inability to hear the doorbell, crickets, a barking dog and other household sounds.

  • People saying you speak too loudly, and difficulty understanding speech when there's background noise.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has more on noise-induced hearing loss.

SOURCE: American Academy of Audiology, news release, June 29, 2021

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery
Dr. Cristina Baldassari
Dr. David Darrow
Dr. Craig Derkay
Dr. Thomas Gallagher
Dr. Jordyn Lucas
Dr. Stephanie Moody Antonio
Ear, Nose and Throat, Ltd.
Dr. Peter Bondy
Dr. Brian D. Deutsch
Dr. David Dorofi
Dr. R. Jeffrey Hood
Dr. John Kalafsky
Dr. Michael Shroyer
Health Tips
Earlier Is Better to Catch Hearing Loss in Children
Helping Kids Get Over their Fears
Keep Kids Safe During Yard Work
When Can a Child Wear Contact Lenses
Quizzes
Hearing Quiz
Diseases & Conditions
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) in Children
Bone Marrow Transplant for Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Cuts and Wounds of the External Ear
Cuts and Wounds of the Mouth and Lips
Ewing Sarcoma in Children
Firearms
Hearing Loss in Babies
Hearing Loss in Children
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) in Children
How to Manage Hearing Loss in Children
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Meningitis in Children
Minor Injuries Overview
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Muscle and Joint Injuries
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in Children
Nutrition- School-Age
Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma) in Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
Skin Injury in Children
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries of the Face and Head- Overview
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Heart
The Kidneys
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.