Protect your hearing this Diwali
Diwali is the most celebrated festival in India. The feasting, gifting and general cheer in the community are unparalleled. With out celebrations, the environment pays a price. Over the years, it has become a fashion statement to get louder, more colourful and longer-lasting crackers. Often, rival groups compete to be better than the other. Whilst this may be fun, it is also important to realise that the smoke and noise from the firecrackers have major damaging effects on the atmosphere and our ears.
According to World Health Organisation, sound level measured in decibels(dB), the ideal level during night healthier for the ears and brain is upto 35 dB. While normal outside noise is usually 60-70dB. This level of noise already starts affecting the brains normal working ability.
Another research from the WHO tells that living our daily lives, over 1 billion people aged between 12 and 35 are at risk of hearing loss. When there is a sudden loud noise or exposure to noise over 70dB over a long period of time, there is risk of permanent hearing loss. During Diwali, the loudness can go up to 125 dB or louder and the exposure to the loud noises for a hours which hurts our hearing very much.
The loud noises damage the hair cells in the cochlea, which is a very vital part of normal hearing. Unfortunately for us, these muscles are made up of non-regenerative tissue which means that once they are damaged, the loss is permanent and there is no recovery.
The hearing loss may be temporary or permanent an may appear at a later date or even immediately. Some symptoms that one may experience include :
- Ringing in the ear due to loud sudden noises
- Muffled or distorted hearing due to exposure to extreme
- Pain in the ears caused by long exposure to noise
- There may also be bleeding from the ears if the eardrum perforates due to sudden and very intense noise exposure.
Precautions that one may take:
- Avoid bursting fire-crackers
- Stay far away from the crackers so that the noise is diminished.
- Take a break from the loud noises in short intervals of time.
- Reduce the duration of exposure to loud noises.
- Earplugs may be useful to reduce the intensity of noise