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Hearing Loss and the Open Road

product_autoIt’s summer and the livin’ is easy. It’s that time for long days at the lake, trips to the beach and open cruising along America’s byways and highways. There’s not much better on a nice day than opening the car windows or rolling back the rag top. That said, precautions should be taken to avoid harming your hearing at the same time you’re enjoying the wind in your hair on the open road.  According to a Better Hearing Institute article, recent tests were conducted for driving different types of convertibles at highway speeds and its potential harm to hearing.  Findings indicated that 80% of the cars tested produced noise exposure of 85 decibels or higher, levels harmful to hearing if sustained for a lengthy period of time. 

Additionally, this sound level could be greatly amplified to much more severe levels when other external noises existed, such as the noises from close car and motorcycle traffic.  Additionally, the 85 decibel noise measurement didn’t include sounds produced within the car interior, like the radio and air conditioning.  Since these external and internal sounds are prevalent to some degree, the noise exposure threat is frequently much higher than the already harmful 85 decibels.

While we don’t suggest forgoing the enjoyment of such summer activities, buoyed by a convertible ride on a nice day, we do agree with the Better Hearing Institute’s recommendation to not drive for long stretches with your convertible back or windows down, especially at highway speeds or with blaring music.  By following these simple suggestions, one may be able to prevent exposure to harmful sounds and avoid noise-induced hearing loss challenges down the road. If you have any further questions regarding this topic feel free to post your comment below or submit your information on Hearing Health Associates’ Contact Us page.