POP! GOES YOUR HEARING

The noise of a balloon bursting can be louder than a shotgunblast and lead to permanent hearing loss. It can’t be that bad, it’s just aballoon, right?  Wrong.  

The Popping Sound Of a Balloon can Cause Hearing Loss

They found popping a balloon generates a noise that can reach 168 decibels – four times higher than a 12-bore shotgun. That’s 28 decibels higher than occupational health and safety recommendation of 140 decibels – meaning even one exposure could be considered unsafe for hearing.

The shock to tiny eardrums may seem like nothing but it does raise the question of safety thresholds for impulse noise—created by a sudden burst of intense energy—that can result in gradual hearing loss. Researchers from the University of Alabama say the sudden noise can lead to gradual hearing loss.

They found popping a balloon generates a noise that can reach 168 decibels – four times higher than a 12-bore shotgun - Bill Hodgets. That’s 28 decibels higher than occupational health and safety recommendation of 140 decibels – meaning even one exposure could be considered unsafe for hearing.

The shock to tiny eardrums may seem like nothing but it does raise the question of safety thresholds for impulse noise—created by a sudden burst of intense energy—that can result in gradual hearing loss. Researchers from the University of Alabama say the sudden noise can lead to gradual hearing loss.

“This research is a conversation starter,” said Hodgetts, an associate professor of audiology. “We are not saying don’t play with balloons and don’t have fun, just try to guard against popping them. Hearing loss is insidious—every loud noise that occurs has a potential lifelong impact. We want people to be mindful of hearing damage over a lifetime, because once you get to the back end of life, no hearing aid is as good as the once healthy built-in system in your inner ear.” - Bill Hodgets.

It is important to ensure that children aren’t subjected to regular noise exposure above 85 decibels as there are increased risks to damaging hearing Hearing loss is one of those invisible problem–until you have it, you don’t even think about it.Once you have it, it impacts everything.

If you suspect that you or a family member is suffering from hearing loss get in contact with us and we will carry out a free hearing assessment in one of our clinics or in the comfort of your own home. Not ready to come and see us just yet? Try our free online hearing test to check for yourself if you are experiencing hearing loss.