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Hearing Health

Study Finds: The Popping Sound of a Balloon Can Cause Permanent Hearing Damage

What do balloons and shotguns have in common? We know it sounds like a bad joke, but both can permanently damage your hearing.

A study published by the Canadian Audiologist Journal found that the sound of a fully inflated balloon popping is louder than a shotgun going off next to someone’s ear. Amazingly enough, researchers found that the sound of a balloon inflated to the point of rupture reached 168 decibels, which is louder than the sound of a 12-gauge shotgun being shot.

According to the Speech-Hearing Association, any sound louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss, which would make popping a balloon a dangerous party trick — especially for children.

Hearing loss happens invisibly through time so it’s often difficult to imagine just how damaging noise exposure can be. We encourage our readers to protect their hearing from hazardous noises by using protective ear plugs or earmuffs, and by simply being mindful of the volume on the devices they use. Another easy tip to help protect your hearing is by taking breaks from loud noise sources, and by reading the noise rating on appliances and equipment.

The professionals in our network believe that having an open dialogue about hearing loss and how to prevent it is an important factor in achieving optimal hearing health. For more information on how to protect your hearing, or begin your journey to hearing health, please contact us today.

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