Riding your motorcycle down the Martin Grade Scenic Highway can be an exhilarating way to spend an afternoon! However, if you ride motorcycles, it’s important that you take the proper steps to protect your hearing and avoid damaging your ears.
Exposure to Loud Noise Increases Hearing Loss Risk
Next to aging, exposure to loud noise is a leading cause of hearing loss. It can be caused by short exposure to extremely loud noises (like a blast or explosion) or prolonged exposure to any noise that reaches a volume of 85 dB or above.
This happens because loud noise can damage the fragile hair cells of your inner ear. These cells play a crucial role in your ability to hear, and unfortunately, once they are damaged, they cannot be repaired or regenerated. The louder the noise, the quicker damage can occur. Eventually, this can lead to permanent noise-induced hearing loss.
Motorcycles and Hearing Loss
Though motorcycles themselves have gotten quieter over the last decade, ambient wind noise while riding can pose a serious threat to your ears.
Helmets can greatly reduce noise exposure compared to riding without a helmet (another important reason to always wear one!) However, they don’t offer enough protection to keep your hearing safe. Research has shown that “wind noise around the helmet can reach about 90 dB(A) at 60 km/h and increase with speed, reaching 110 dB(A) at 160 km/h.”
Protect Your Ears While Riding
Thankfully, you don’t have to give up riding motorcycles to prevent hearing loss. You just have to take the right precautions. Much like helmets, protective jackets and gloves, making hearing protection like earplugs a part of your riding gear can help keep you safer while riding.
Though some riders worry that wearing earplugs will make it harder for them to hear important noises while on the road, like approaching cars or sirens, tuning out wind noise will actually make it easier to hear the sounds you need to.
When it comes to what earplugs to get, you can purchase them in bulk or ask an audiologist about crafting earplugs based on your own custom earmolds. Just make sure they offer noise reduction of 20–30 decibels to keep the volume at safe levels while riding.
If you would like more information or wish to schedule an appointment, give The Hear Care Center a call today.