Keep ears happy on

New Year's Eve

As the clock ticks down to the fresh new year, the excitement builds and then explodes with a spectacular firework display.

For hearing aid users and everyone else who is out late to welcome in the new year, it is vital to take the right precautions.

Beware! Fireworks are as loud as gunshots

A few good bangs are all part of the fun, but every exploding firework or banger can exceed 120 dB with ease – far above the safe level of 85 dB. Just a few minutes spent close to exploding fireworks could cause hearing loss, so be sure to stay a safe distance away.

Prepare your hearing aids for noise

Hearing aid users should adjust their programme settings for noise reduction, or select a reduced level in their music setting. If their instruments don’t have this feature, a pair of noise-reducing earmuffs can help. They can also consider turning their hearing aids off entirely. 

Consider wearing (affordable!) hearing protection

Experts agree that extended exposure to noise over 85 decibels is dangerous. Wear hearing protection if the display will last a while or if you will be close to the fireworks, or if you have any doubts at all. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to protect your ears. Foam earplugs are cheap, simple and easily available from a pharmacy. They can reduce the levels of noise by up to 35 decibels, but check the instructions on the packet.

Small ears need special protection

If it is too loud for you, then it’s definitely too loud for them. Children’s ears are more sensitive than adult ears and are even more susceptible to the dangers of loud noise. Hearing loss also has a more profound effect on children because it can affect their cognitive development. Get kids' earplugs at your pharmacy, or buy ear defenders at a hardware store.

Rest your hearing on New Year’s Day

After a loud event like a firework display, your ears need time to recover – away from noisy environments. Experts recommend that you rest your ears for at least 16 hours after loud events. In fact, even longer is better. Neglecting to give your ears a 16-hour break increases the chances of permanent hearing loss.

  • How well are you hearing?

    Think about these everyday listening situations and how they affect you. This short questionnaire can help provide insight about your hearing and if you might want to seek a professional hearing evaluation. Start the test.

  • Protect your hearing

    Noise-induced hearing loss is the only kind of hearing loss we have the power to prevent. Find out why it happens — and how to avoid it.

  • Better hearing - What can I do?

    If you have some difficulty hearing, it pays to get checked by a hearing care professional. A consultation does not take long and is completely painless. Learn what happens at the hearing centre.

  • Find a hearing centre

    A hearing care professional can test your hearing and devise a treatment that suits you