You probably know that loud noises like rock concerts, fireworks and explosions can damage your ears and cause hearing loss. However, you might be surprised to find out that balloons can pose a threat to your hearing as well.

Research Shows Popped Balloons Can Reach Harmful Volumes A colorful array of balloons against a white background.

Researchers at the University of Alberta were curious to measure the impulse noise of a popped balloon and see how it compares to other damaging sounds. Impulse noise is characterized as a sudden burst of high-intensity energy.

To find out, they set up a study that measured the impulse noise of popped balloons in three different scenarios:

  • Popping them with a pin
  • Blowing them up until they ruptured
  • Crushing them until they burst

They found that the average impulse level of a ruptured balloon was more intense than a 12-gauge shot gun and nearly as intense as a 357 magnum.

Take Steps To Protect Your Hearing

These findings don’t mean you have to forgo the balloons the next time you throw your child a birthday party at Bountiful City Park. However, you may want to take steps to avoid potential hearing damage. This may include explaining the risks of popping balloons to your child and other partygoers and/or using earplugs or other hearing protection.

Popped balloons aren’t the only noise you need to protect your ears from. In fact, it’s important to consider the cumulative effects of noise exposure, much in the same way we do sun exposure.

Repeated exposure to any sound above 85 decibels can damage your ears and lead to hearing loss. This can include working in louder environments like manufacturing or construction as well as common activities like:

  • Hunting
  • Riding motorcycles and snowmobiles
  • Attending concerts
  • Listening to music at high volume through earbuds or headphones
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Using a leaf blower

Treat Hearing Loss Early

The best way to deal with any hearing loss that has already occurred is to get checked out by an audiologist as soon as possible. They will perform a hearing test and potentially other evaluations to determine the cause and severity of your hearing loss.

The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. The earlier you seek treatment the more effective it will be and the better the chances that you can prevent or minimize additional damage to your ears.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to get your hearing evaluated, contact Bountiful Hearing Center today.