woman on motorcycle with helmet on.

Love of the open road and the thrill of speed top the list of reasons why people love to ride motorcycles. But this exciting hobby comes at a high risk of permanent hearing damage for people who ride a lot.

The effect of motorcycle speed and riding duration on hearing health was assessed in a detailed study carried out by a hearing protection manufacturer in cooperation with a notable German automobile association. Alarmingly, at speeds of 62 or higher, for only 15 minutes, riders who don’t utilize hearing protection can suffer irreversible hearing damage.

Why do bikers get hearing loss?

You may not be surprised that bikers frequently suffer from loss of hearing, but you might be surprised as to why. The greatest threat isn’t the raging engine, contrary to the common belief, it’s actually the wind. The research emphasized that even though helmets offer crucial protection during accidents, they fall short in protecting a biker’s hearing. Improvements to the helmet, such as additional padding, vents, or weather stripping, do little to mitigate the wind noise swirling around the rider.

Motorcyclists are often impacted by a condition known as temporary threshold shift (TTS), which results from frequent exposure to extreme noise levels. TTS is a progressive condition, meaning the more you’re exposed to loud noises, the more intense the symptoms can get. At first, TTS sufferers may detect minor symptoms like a temporary reduction in hearing clarity. However, over time, this condition can progress to permanent and irreversible hearing loss.

Comparing wind volume with other noise levels

To grasp the seriousness of wind noise while riding, the German study’s results are illuminating. At 62 mph, the wind around a biker’s head produces noise levels reaching 95 decibels (dB). Workers in Europe, for instance, have to use ear protection by law if the volume goes beyond 80 dB. This means that bikers riding at this speed without hearing protection are exposed to volume levels nearly 19% higher than what is regarded as safe in a work environment.

As the speed goes up, so does the noise level. At 74 mph, wind volume can reach 98 dB, a level that can trigger hearing damage after only 7 minutes of exposure. Other studies validate these findings, suggesting that bikers are indeed at a considerable risk of hearing loss.

Safeguarding your ears

The good news is, it’s easy to safeguard your hearing with earplugs. Hearing specialists emphatically recommend utilizing filtered earplugs, which are far superior to the old, uncomfortable versions many are familiar with. Filtered earplugs are a more sophisticated model that filters out high frequencies like wind while allowing lower frequencies to get in. It’s crucial for bikers to still be able to hear important sounds like human voices, sirens, and car horns.

Furthermore, these modern earplugs let bikers enjoy the exhilaration of riding without feeling isolated or numb, a common disadvantage of older protective devices. With filtered earplugs, you can continue to experience the thrill of the ride while safeguarding your hearing from the harmful effects of wind noise.

It is possible to enjoy the thrill of speed and the freedom of the open road while still keeping your ears safe from wind noise. Considerable and irreversible hearing damage can be caused by the noise of wind at high speeds. However, with the basic addition of quality earplugs, bikers can continue to enjoy their rides while safeguarding their long-term hearing health.

Give us a call today to learn more about hearing protection so you can keep on top of your hearing health.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

Call or text for a no-obligation evaluation.

Schedule Now

Call us today.

Schedule Now