Bonfire night is fast approaching and many of us will be looking forward to a fun night of fireworks with the family. Whether you are thinking of attending an organised event or just having a few fireworks in your garden, it is important to consider how you can protect your ears from lasting damage.

Fireworks displays are great fun but are also very noisy events. In the U.K. the legal noise limit is 120dB for fireworks but this is 35dB above the level at which hearing damage can occur. The risk to your hearing depends on how long your ears are exposed to the loud noise, and at a level of 120dB it only takes 7 seconds to risk permanent damage. A common sign of damage to the ear is tinnitus which can be a ‘ringing or buzzing’ in the ear that won’t go away which can be very disturbing to live with. Another indication of hearing loss would be if you can no longer use a phone in one or other ear.

The best approach to avoid risks to your hearing is to wear some good earplugs. For young children ear defenders are recommended. You should also ensure you don’t stand too close to the fireworks, speaker systems, music amplifiers and other sources of loud noise. Keep your distance.

If you find yourself close to a very loud noise source (120dB or above), without ear protection, plug your ears with your fingers immediately and move yourself away from the danger as quickly as possible.

At Aston Hearing we believe in preventative measures and offer custom made earplugs which ensure the best possible fit for comfort and effectiveness. They still allow you to enjoy noisy events, background music and conversation whilst protecting your ears at the same time. We also provide a range of ear defenders and disposable ear plugs at our practices and can offer advice on the best approach.