Fireworks Can Harm Your Hearing

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Updated: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 11:47:04 CST

While many of us love the cracks and booms of fireworks, if you aren't careful you could cause permanent damage to your hearing.

Gary Wyeno is a Doctor of Audiology for Midwest Hearing Specialists in Hastings. He says damage from loud noises is called induced hearing loss and it's something that can happen instantly from fireworks and firecrackers. Symptoms to look out for include ringing, buzzing, or humming in your ears immediately after exposure. If you start to notice that your hearing is muffled see a doctor immediately. Dr. Wyeno says fireworks can be louder than an airplane.

"A jet airplane taking off is about 130 and firecrackers can be up to 140 db thats a painful level and can cause instant permanent damage if the firecracker or fireworks are close enough," said Dr. Wyeno, a doctor of audiology for Midwest Hearing Specialists in Hastings.

Dr. Wyeno says there's generally no surgery that can repair induced hearing loss, but if caught early it can sometimes be treated with steroids. He suggests using ear plugs to protect yourself this holiday.