Diwali is loads of fun.But do you know how to have a safe Diwali?One of the major worries during Diwali other than fire hazards is a risk of noise-induced hearing loss.It can be temporary or permanent.Acoustic trauma is a more serious condition.
#Truth 1 about Fire Crackers & Hearing
Sound which is loud enough to cause damage to your inner ear may cause permanent hearing loss.This is not reversible. therapy.Upto 75 dB sound levels will generally cause temporary hearing loss.
Acoustic trauma: This occurs when there is one-time sudden exposure to very high sound pressure levels.Usually at around 130 dB.Sound crackers can cause this damage.
Noise-induced hearing loss typically occurs when the ear is exposed to very high noise levels, sufficient time to cause damage.
If temporary, recovery will occur within first 2 days.
In the audiometry report, it will appear as a steep auditory notch at mainly 4 KHz. The temporary depression may disappear after minutes or hours.
What will you feel?
- Ringing, buzzing sound or tinnitus.
- Partial hearing loss . Depending on the distance and intensity this may progress.
- Perforation of tympanic membrane with bleeding from ear.
Precautions you can take
Don’t use crackers which cause loud explosion.
If you are in a locality where such activities are usual, try to keep a distance from these crackers.
Use Acoustic blockers.Visit your nearest emergency ENT services and get an audiometry done if you have any symptoms.
Don’t buy Chinese crackers.They contain chemicals at nonpermissible levels and can burst at higher sound levels.
Check the sound levels specified in the crackers.Buy only when it is within specified levels.
Sudden hearing loss following acoustic trauma
Your doctor may also prescribe steroids and neuroprotective drugs.
Eardrum perforation: Repair or conservative treatment depending on the size of perforation.
Hearing aid trial and hearing aid.Cochlear implant in some cases.
Unfortunately, Tinnitus treatment is not full proof.
What does the law say about loud noise?
“Environment Protection Act, 1986 and the Environment Protection
Rule, 1986 and 1999 (amendment) rules”;
The manufacture, sale or use of firecrackers generating noise level exceeding 125 dB(AI) or 145 dB(C) pk at 4 meters distance from the point of bursting shall be prohibited.”
The Explosives Rules 2008 (Rule 14) mandates that every manufacturer shall on the box of each firecrackers shall mention details of its chemical content, sound level and that it satisfies requirements laid down by the chief controller”
Other laws about sound pollution which you should know.
Cummings Otolaryngology: Head
& Neck Surgery6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Sa unders; 2015:chap 150.
Disclaimer: This post is for spreading awareness and is not meant to be medical advice.Kindly consult your doctor for all health concerns.Read my disclaimer here.