Is Your Hobby Hurting Your Hearing?

by | Nov 8, 2013 | news

Is Your Hobby Hurting Your Hearing?

We don’t think of our recreational activities as being bad for our health. After all, these are the things we do in life to keep us healthy and active and full of vitality. But when it comes to certain activities – including motorcycling – you could be at risk for noise-induced hearing loss.

Motorcycling and Hearing Loss

We don’t need to tell you that motorcycles are loud. You know they’re loud – they are supposed to be! If a group of motorcycles is passing you on the road, you can cover your ears till they go by, and your hearing probably won’t suffer any effects. But if you are part of the bike-riding group, the sounds will be with you wherever you go. There are two main sources of noise that motorcyclists need to manage: the motorcycle engine and the wind.

Motorcycle Engines Are LOUD!

A study conducted by the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professionals tested the sound of motorcycle engines, and found that half of the motorcycles they tested had engines that produced sound over 100 decibels. This sound is damaging to ears after 15 minutes, and that’s only one bike.

Noise Is Amplified In A Group

When riders are travelling in a group, that sound is amplified many times over, and is extremely damaging to the riders’ ears. And it’s not just the noise of other motorcycle engines that needs to be contended with, but also all the other cars and trucks on the road.

It’s Not Just The Engine Noise

Wind noise isn’t something that people think about often, but the faster you go, the louder the wind noise becomes, and if you’re travelling at 75 miles per hour, the wind noise can get up to 105 decibels! This sound isn’t safe for over an hour, which is something to consider if planning a long motorcycle trip.

Helmets Don’t Help

To make the problem more difficult, the design of motorcycle helmets is great for protecting your head in case of a collision, but it exacerbates the wind noise.

Hearing Protection Is Critical

Hearing protection when riding a motorcycle – especially in a group – is critical to prevent damage to your hearing. Motorcyclists should be wearing custom-designed earplugs that won’t interfere with the design of their helmets, but will protect their ears from the noise of the wind and engines

Get Your Hearing Tested Today!

If you or a loved one is a motorcyclist, or has another hobby where you are exposed to loud sounds (such as hunting or shooting, woodworking, playing music, etc), it is important to get your hearing checked, and get the right ear protection for you and your activity. Our experiencedudiologists will work with you to make sure your hearing is healthy now, and that it stays that way.

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Dr. Ana Anzola, CCC-A, FAAA, ABA Principal

Dr. Anzola received her Doctorate degree in Audiology (AuD) from the Arizona School of Health Sciences, and her Master’s Degree in Audiology and her Bachelor's Degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Towson University. She has been a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) since 1995, board-certified by the American Board of Audiology (ABA), and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

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