Sound pollution,Crackers & Hearing :5 Facts you Must Know

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. The good news is, this year the supreme court is serious about  air and noise pollution. But this kind of pro-activeness we need throughout the year. Sound pollution is real and can destroy the quality of life forever!

Your local policemen will be the person responsible for preventing bursting illegal noisy crackers at the wrong time. If they don’t prevent it, or fail to do so, they run the risk of being hauled in front of the honorable court for contempt. What I don’t understand is, why won’t sensible Indians think about their own health and wellness? Diwali is a festival of lights. Why make it deafening?

 #Truth 1 about Fire Crackers & Hearing 

The 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 the 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.

#Truth 2

What will you feel?

  • Ringing, buzzing sound or tinnitus.
  • Partial hearing loss. Depending on the distance and intensity this may progress.
  • Perforation of the tympanic membrane with bleeding from ear.
  • Sound pollution, Crackers & Hearing

    Sound pollution, Crackers & Hearing

#Truth 3

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.

#Truth 4

Treatment:

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 loss:

Hearing aid trial and hearing aid. Cochlear implant in some cases.

Unfortunately, Tinnitus treatment is not full proof.

#Truth5

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.

May light of Diwali  make you blessed.Have a wonderful Diwali.

Don’t have time to read listen to this

 


References :

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.

Updated 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. You are bang on this Amrita. My kid hates crackers just because of these sounds. Lighting ones are OK for him, but feels that his pet brother gets scared with them too. So he doesn’t want to burst any crackers.

  2. You were so right about the noise of nowadays crackers. But glad that government and even people are also taking good preventive measures.

  3. These are some seriously useful tips of advice..People wanna have fun but seriously forget the danger associated with it and these are great remainders of safety !

  4. I’d be curious to know the percentage of ear injuries following Diwali. It would be a shame to lose one’s hearing after celebrating such a joyful event!

  5. This is so important. We always forget about the damage we may cause to ourselves when we do things that are fun -like sitting front row at a concert or shooting off fireworks. It’s important to stay safe!

    • Yes safety matters .Fun should never end in tears for anyone.The problem is most people think it doesn’t matter if done once.But some damages need only one strike.
      Thanks for the feedback
      Glad you found this useful.

  6. I didn’t know any of this and I’m glad I read it because even though I don’t think anyone in the US uses the Chinese crackers, real fireworks are legal in ny state and are often set off feet away.

  7. Its very important to take care while bursting crackers and this is a very useful and informative post Amrita. Thanks for sharing with us all the information and tips to take care of our ears.

  8. Seriously! Apart from the crackers, I have no clue why people want to put on loud music and dance on the roads. I wish I could say grow up. Glad that you wrote about this!

    • Yes that’s another story altogether. A very important cause of noise pollution specially during festivals. Thanks for reading Shalini

    • Yes Temporary loss luckily recovers.But often its difficult tp predict who has suffered temporary /permanent loss even after tests.Also the noise sensitivity may have individual variations.
      That is someone may have heaeing liss at 75 dB sound and another may not.
      Thank you sharing your personal story.Appreciate your feedback.

  9. So very True Amrita! Diwali id great yet there is so much caution we need to take as parents that we are left tensed and concerned all the time. You have clearly outlined the medical conditions that may be caused by excessive sound,,very informative..