5 ways to protect your ears during fireworks night

Published 02 November 2021  | Updated 16 May 2024  | 3 mins read

It’s a cold and frosty November evening and you’re looking forward to your trip out to a muddy field, local park or someone’s back garden to enjoy the fireworks. But before you leave home, don’t forget about your hearing health!

Did you know that sudden loud noises like gunfire and fireworks can cause a sudden deterioration in your hearing? In fact, prolonged exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent hearing loss — which is why people who work in loud environments are required by UK law to wear hearing protection.

By ‘loud’ we mean anything over 85 decibels

But fireworks can be as loud as 150 decibels*, which makes them potentially very hazardous.

Thankfully, a brief fireworks display probably won’t last long enough to cause permanent hearing damage (when viewed from a safe distance), but they can often leave a ringing in your ears called tinnitus. Tinnitus can be distressing and interfere with both your sleep and hearing quality.

Child with sparkler

Our 5 steps for safer ears this bonfire night

1. Stay at a safe distance

The further away you are from loud sounds the safer you’ll be – if you simply can’t get far away (because you’re in someone’s back garden or similarly confined space) then be sure to follow point two…!

2. Wear ear plugs

Pop in a pair of noise reducing ear plugs — these will maintain sound quality but turn down the volume so it’s safe for your ears.

3. Protect your children’s ears

Children’s young ears can be extra sensitive to loud noises and the best way to protect their hearing is with a pair of ear defenders — much easier to wear than ear plugs.

4. Take a break

Fortunately, fireworks displays don’t usually last too long, but the longer you’re exposed to loud noises over 85dB the more your ears will suffer. If your ears are hurting, it’s definitely time to step away.

5. Drink plenty of fluids

Believe it or not, the hair cells in your inner ear can be more vulnerable to damage if you’re dehydrated. So think about taking a flask with you.

THCP is ready to help

Whether you want to pop into your local branch to pick up some ear plugs this November 5th – or you’ve got some concerns about your hearing – our expert audiologists are here to help.

If you’d like to come in for a hearing check, you can book in for an appointment online or give us a call on 0800 52 00 546.

*The Royal National Institute for Deaf People: https://rnid.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/latest-press-releases/know-your-decibels-ten-of-the-loudest-sounds-out-there/