Don’t men realize that revving up their vehicle’s engine will damage their hearing over time?

“Eight-five decibels and louder, depending on duration of exposure and individual susceptibility, can be permanently damaging to one’s hearing,” says Rachel Raphael, M.A., CCC-A, an audiologist with Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

She continues: “It is a shame that there is no pain, bleeding or obvious damage at the time of exposure (sometimes takes years for the damage to show up as permanent sensorineural hearing loss, and/or tinnitus), or more people would reconsider the types of loud sounds/concerts/engine revving etc., to which they expose themselves and nearby others.

“There is nothing cool about revving up an engine!  It’s annoying to everyone around in my opinion.

“It’s even less cool to have to wear hearing aids prematurely, due to all the damage that’s likely to show up down the road at a later date. (Also not cool to refuse hearing aids when needed, and keep asking ‘What?’ and ‘Huh?’ all the time!)”

Okay, so those of you reading this who enjoy tinkering with your vehicle’s engine, revving it up loudly, sitting back and basking in that thundering noise, are probably thinking that being concerned about possible hearing loss is a sign of wimpiness.

Loud noise causes hearing loss. Period. This isn’t a situation of wimpiness or being a sissy.

Of course, it’s your ears so why should this be anyone else’s business? Because nearby people, as mentioned prior, are also subjected to this noise.

“But I have to rev my car to warm up the engine.”

The need to warm it up seems to occur only among men. In all my life, I’ve never witnessed a woman sitting in her vehicle revving up the engine for 10, let alone 20, minutes. Secondly, this “warming up” often occurs in the dead of summer.

What would happen if you skipped “warming it up” and just drove out of the parking space after turning the vehicle on? Surely it would move. Surely it would function.

The revving is just for playing around and having fun. But it’s at the cost of your hearing.

Maybe you don’t think it’s that loud. That’s because you probably already have hearing loss.

Down my street is a man (again, it’s never a woman) who sits in his pickup truck and just gloats in revving that engine, and I’m telling you, this is the loudest engine I’ve ever heard.

It is so roaring loud that I’m guessing that a decibel meter would register 120 at 50 feet away.

If you don’t think your engine is loud, record it with a decibel meter. You may think that a few minutes here and there of revving it are harmless to your hearing, but hearing loss is cumulative, over time; it’s stealthy and insidious, creeping up on you until one day, you realize that you’re constantly saying “What?” and “Huh?” Nothing macho about that.

Rachel A. Raphael specializes in clinical audiology and hearing aid dispensing. She helps in the diagnosis of hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness and vestibular pathology in adults and children.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.