Fireworks can permanently damage hearing

Photo credit: Kaique Rocha from Pexels

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

This report from television station WLKY in Louisville, Kentucky correctly warns that noise from fireworks can cause permanent hearing loss. The report doesn’t explicitly state this, but I think they are talking about “do it yourself” fireworks, not fireworks displays in parks or over the water.

If you are close enough to fireworks, the impulse noise from fireworks can disrupt delicate auditory structures, immediate causing permanent hearing loss. Even if you are lucky enough not to suffer that fate, fireworks noise can damage hearing.

Fireworks also cause blindness and scare animals, especially dogs.

Our advice:

  • Leave fireworks to the professionals.
  • Use hearing protection if you’re close to where they’re being set off.
  • Don’t buy fireworks for use at home. These are illegal in many jurisdictions and pose a serious risk of damage to eyes and ears, especially for children.
  • Try to find a location setting off silent fireworks, with lots of light displays but no noise.

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