How to Protect Hearing During Summer Outdoor Activities

Summer is the best time for outdoor activities like swimming, live concerts, fireworks and even yard work. While these activities can be fun, your hearing could be at risk, here are some preventative measures to keep in mind during these summer activates.

Live Concerts

Outdoors concerts are great during the summer but can be just as harmful because of the high volume of decibels during the concerts.

Decibels are a unit used to measure the intensity of sound or the power level of an electrical signal by comparing it with a given level on a logarithmic scale.

The typical person can accept 85 decibels for a maximum of eight hours a day, followed by at least a couple hours of recovery time. Most live concerts are at a volume of 100 to 110 decibels which decrease the length of exposure time.

There are two options for all concert goers, placing oneself as far away from speakers as possible or wearing ear plugs. Earplugs can decrease the noise by 20 to 30 decibels.

Both are good options to avoid ringing in the ears after the concert has ended.


Between Fourth of July, baseball games and local events, fireworks are a staple during summertime. Although fireworks produce between 140-150 decibels, they generally do not cause problems because the explosions are short-lived and happen in the sky.

However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Keeping your distance, around 500 feet, is a great way to still enjoy the beautiful show but also keep your hearing safe.

Using earplugs is an inexpensive and efficient way to protect your hearing. Various types of earplugs are able to reduce different level of decibels.

Water Activities

The best way to cool off can also be the most common cause of ear trouble during the summer. Swimming in any type of water can cause water to get trapped in the middle ear.

The middle ear is the part between the eardrum and the oval window. It transmits sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. Getting water trapped in the middle ear can cause an infection to develop.

Wearing earplugs or custom-molded ones can prevent trouble or pain.

Outdoor Equipment

Equipment like lawnmowers and weed whackers can produce up to 100 decibels so wearing earplugs is a key protective measure. Some people prefer to jam out to music through headphones while doing yardwork, this isn’t the same as using earplugs and can be harmful.

Listening to music requires the music to be louder and drown out the sound of the equipment.

Be aware of your proximity to the loud sound and remember to use ear plugs if you need to. There are a variety of earplugs that are best for different types of activities including swimming and attending concerts.

To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians at the Reno Tahoe Sinus Center, please visit call 775.284.856