Tips to Avoid Hearing Loss During this Year’s Fourth of July Fireworks

Jun 28, 2017


Summer has officially arrived and Independence Day is right around the corner. It’s a time for fun outdoor activities like backyard cookouts, camping and fireworks. However, if precautions aren’t taken, fireworks may lead to permanent effects on your health. According to the CDC, nearly one in every four Americans suffer from temporary or permanent noise-induced hearing loss. Take extra care this Fourth of July holiday and at all of your summer celebrations by implementing these tips and tricks to protect your ears from loud explosions.

Dr. Maria Suurna, otolaryngologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine, recommends the following safety tips if you plan on enjoying fireworks this Fourth of July:

  • The best way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is to avoid loud noise exposure. Exposure to sounds above 85 dB can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the source of fireworks. If you are planning to use your own fireworks, choose quieter options and use hearing protective devices.
  • Keep children and infants safe from exposure to loud fireworks, as they might be more susceptible to hearing damage at lower decibels than adults.
  • If you cannot avoid excessive firework noise, it’s recommended to wear hearing protection devices such as earplugs and earmuffs.
  • Pay attention to symptoms of possible hearing damage such as tinnitus, ear fullness, pressure or pain.
  • Be sure to see a doctor if you develop symptoms or suspect hearing loss after watching fireworks.

Keep these tips in mind to enjoy a safe fireworks show that won’t risk unnecessary hearing problems. To speak directly with Dr. Suurna or another NewYork-Presbyterian otolaryngologist, contact Connor Hadley at [email protected] or 212-821-0560.


NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation’s most comprehensive, integrated academic healthcare delivery systems, whose organizations are dedicated to providing the highest quality, most compassionate care and service to patients in the New York metropolitan area, nationally, and throughout the globe. In collaboration with two renowned medical schools, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian is consistently recognized as a leader in medical education, groundbreaking research and innovative, patient-centered clinical care.

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  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is ranked #1 in the New York metropolitan area by U.S. News and World Report and repeatedly named to the Honor Roll of “America’s Best Hospitals.”
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