Hearing experts warn about fireworks

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The bombs bursting in air on July 4th don't just unsettle your pets. KPCC's Susan Valot says audio experts warn that fireworks could ruin your hearing.

Hearing professionals say any noise above 85 decibels can hurt humans’ ability to hear. Firecracker noise is well past that level. Big fireworks shows can be really noisy, too, especially if you're right under the action. The Better Hearing Institute, a non-profit that educates about hearing loss, says the single bang of a firecracker or a loud firework has the potential to permanently damage your hearing in an instant.

The group suggests watching fireworks displays from a safe, and quieter, distance. If you must be close to the display, hearing-loss experts suggest that you wear ear plugs to block some of the noise. Those experts say more than 10 million Americans exposed to loud noise live with irreversible hearing damage.