When you think about the dangers of riding, you probably imagine a gory wipeout or a tragic run-in with a car – hearing loss isn’t typically the first thing that comes to mind. Many riders fail to take the proper precautions to prevent this common injury, and once the damage is done it can’t be reversed.
Riders are regularly exposed to noise levels capable of causing hearing loss, tinnitus and other related problems in very short amounts of time. While it’s illegal for Ohio riders to wear earplugs while operating their motorcycles, there are several other ways you can protect yourself on the road.
Tips for Preventing Hearing Loss on Your Motorcycle
Reduce your exposure.
While you won’t be able to completely eliminate your exposure to noise on the road, there are steps you can take to manage the factors within your control. Avoid aftermarket exhaust systems and other modifications designed to make your bike the loudest on the block. If your motorcycle windshield is too low to create a sufficient barrier, consider purchasing a windshield extender to help redirect the air flow.
Choose a quieter helmet.
When shopping for a helmet, keep shape and aerodynamics in mind. Look for a sleek, full-face design, and avoid those with large external vents, gaps or other parts that could create turbulence or increase the amount of drag on the helmet. For added protection, consider a model that incorporates the noise-cancelling technology found in high-quality headphones.
Block out the wind.
Even if you carefully choose a helmet with an aerodynamic design, wind will often sneak in through the gap between your neck and the bottom of the helmet. Sealing off the area with a windjammer or neck curtain helps prevent this flow of air and reduces the amount of noise while keeping out bugs and other debris.
Think you’re beginning to suffer hearing loss? Schedule a hearing screening and talk with your doctor about possible solutions.