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FOR RELEASE: May 16, 2000
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Summer Noises Can be Dangerous to Your Hearing

With more persons spending time outdoors during the summer, people need to be aware of the everyday noises that pose a danger to their hearing health. When you participate in activities such as mowing the yard, riding a motorcycle, boating, Fourth of July fireworks, or listening to loud music at rock concerts, you are probably exposing yourself to dangerous noise levels that can damage your hearing. During May, which is Better Hearing and Speech Month, health officials want to remind people to protect their hearing.

Communication disorders affect approximately 46 million Americans. Of these, 28 million have a hearing loss, and 14 million have a speech or language disorder. In Oklahoma, about 17,000 residents could be expected to have significant hearing loss requiring amplification, special schooling or modified communication.

Officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health suggest the following tips to protect your hearing when you are unable to avoid loud noise:

  • Wear hearing protectors.
  • Alternate noisy activities with periods of quiet.
  • Reduce the volume on stereos and earphones.
  • Limit periods of noise exposure.

For more information about screening for speech and hearing loss, contact the county health department in your area.

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