Summer is in full swing, and both students and parents are enjoying their time sitting on the grass and enjoying the sunny weather. People of all ages are taking the winter covers off their motorcycles, leaving their cars behind to get the most out of their fun in the sun. But while many people will buckle their helmets before each ride, they are neglecting to protect two of the most valuable parts of their bodies: their ears.
On average, the engine noise from a motorcycle hovers around 90 decibels (dB). However, many bikes produce noises in excess of 100 dB—a level high enough to require ear protection in U.S. workplaces. Excessive engine noise is just one of many factors that can lead to hearing loss in motorcyclists, including:
- Open ears. Motorcyclists rely on helmets to protect their heads in a crash, but many helmets provide little to no protection from loud noises. Only helmets that fit entirely over the head offer ear protection, and even then the level of protection varies.
- Wind noise. While decibel levels from wind noise are relatively low on city streets, a motorcyclist traveling over 60 miles per hour on a highway can experience sound levels up to 116 dB. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns that exposure to noises over 100 dB can cause hearing damage in as little as fifteen minutes.
- Tinnitus. Persistent exposure to high-level noises can cause your acute hearing to drop to a lower level, a condition known as Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS). Continuous TTS exposure can lead to tinnitus symptoms and cause permanent inability to hear.
Ear Protection Can Save Your Hearing
Earplugs are the easiest way to protect your hearing from excessive noises during motorcycle riding. The most comfortable hearing protection devices are custom earmolds, while are fitted specifically to your ear so they can be worn all day. To find a custom solution that will protect you on the open road, call our toll-free number 888-262-2613 to visit the Sound Advice Hearing Aid Center nearest you.