5 Common Recreational Activities That Cause Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a condition that's much more prevalent than most people think. In fact, about 13% of adults over the age of 18 experience some form of hearing loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of these people reported no exposure to job-related noise; instead, the cause of their hearing loss was the result of engaging in recreational activities you can do at home or outdoors. Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Hunting or Target Shooting

The sound of a gunshot can be measured at 110 to 120 decibels, depending on the gun and the ammunition used. This level of sound is roughly equivalent to a jet taking off. It's loud enough to cause hearing loss after as few as 2 to 4 shots. Even if you're wearing protective ear muffs or earplugs, you can still suffer permanent hearing loss if you continue to fire your weapon without taking regular breaks to give your ears a chance to recover.

2. Lawn Mower Use

Mowing the lawn can be a pleasant way to spend a weekend morning. Unfortunately, it can also be a source of hearing loss if you don't take some simple precautions. A lawn mower's noise reaches a level that's roughly equivalent to 85 decibels, which is high enough to cause hearing damage if you're exposed to it for more than 15 minutes. Something as simple as mowing the lawn may seem harmless, but it's possible that after spending the season doing it several times a week, your hearing could suffer.

3. Woodworking and Home Improvement Projects

Watch out for elevated noise levels when you're completing home improvement projects or your own carpentry projects. This can cover a wide range of sources that can lead to hearing damage. The noise produced by a table saw can reach a level of 100 decibels, while a hammer drill can produce the same sound.

Even something as ordinary as screwing in a nail can produce a level of noise that's high enough to cause hearing loss. The risk of hearing loss is especially high if you've been exposed to loud noise over a long period of time.

4. Sporting Events

Enjoying the sound of cheering and the roar of the crowd at a football, basketball, or baseball game is perhaps one of the best reasons to attend a live sporting event. You can really feel the hype and the excitement of the moment. Unfortunately, it's also enough to cause hearing loss.

The noise level at a sporting event can reach as high as 120 decibels. For comparison, if you were standing on the sideline of a football game, you would have to shout to have a chance at being heard by the person next to you. Worse yet, the noise level doesn't have to be that loud at a game to cause permanent hearing damage.

5. Boating or Motorcycle Riding

Unlike hunting and shooting, exposure to noise from these activities is usually limited and―in most cases―you're wearing a helmet or protective clothing to prevent injury. However, that doesn't mean you're in the clear.

Both motorcycles and small watercraft are capable of producing a level of noise that's equal to that of a lawn mower. These activities can lead to hearing loss after being exposed to them for only a short time. In addition, you're likely to be exposed to additional noise from other sources (such as passengers shouting at each other) when you're riding on these vehicles.


Hearing loss is not something that you want to consider lightly. It's a condition that can affect your lifestyle and, potentially, your career. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent hearing loss. One way is to consult an audiologist about your work environment. They can help you identify the risks that you may be exposed to on the job and provide ear protection and other types of equipment that will keep your ears safe.

Experiencing hearing loss can be difficult for anyone. But with proper specialist care and hearing solutions, you can regain a healthy and active life. That's exactly what HearGlow is here for. We provide affordable hearing devices designed to improve the quality of life of people who are hard of hearing. Don't let hearing loss dictate how you live your life. Let HearGlow help you take control of your hearing loss. Contact us today to learn more about our hearing devices.

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Hearing Guide > 5 Common Recreational Activities That Cause Hearing Loss