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How to protect your health at Thunder Over Louisville; Dehydration, noise

While crowds have been itching to get back to an in-person Thunder, like with any large outdoor event, remember to take extra caution to protect your health.
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Crowds are gathering at Waterfront Park to get a front row view of this year's Thunder Over Louisville.

While many have been itching to get back to an in-person Thunder, like with any large outdoor event, it's important to remember to take extra precaution to protect your health.

Dr. Lauren Pollock, an audiologist at University of Louisville Health, said that the noise level at Thunder can cause immediate damage to your ears if you're close enough to the sound.

Pollock said the noise made by aircraft in the Air Show can be between 120-140dB. For reference, a household blender creates 85dB of sound. 

Here's how to protect your hearing:

  • Foam ear plugs. Roll the foam plugs into a ball and pull back your ear. Hold the plug in your ear to let the foam expand for better protection.
  • Headphone or ear muffs are also a good option that are easy to use.
  • Wear both! Pollock said if you plan to be close to the action and want to be extra careful, wearing headphones or ear muffs over ear plugs can provide double the protection.
  • Get some distance. Instead of being right under the fireworks, enjoy a better view of the show by finding a place farther away.

Pollock said after Thunder you may experience muffled hearing or ringing, like you would after a concert, which should go away within a couple days. 

"Something that's lingering for more than three or four days is something that you should head on in and get check out," she said.

RELATED: Here's what you need to know if you're heading downtown for Thunder Over Louisville

But with this year's Thunder possibly being one of the warmest on record, noise isn't the only health problem to watch out for.

Dr. Bianca Grimshaw, with UofL Health's Sports Medicine department, said that hydration will be extremely important to beat the heat.

Signs of dehydration:

  • Feeling thirsty (Remember: if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.)
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth or cracked lips
  • Urinating less or darker-colored urine
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded
  • Babies may stop making tears when they are dehydrated

"Generally when spending time in the heat, you should drink a cup of water every fifteen minutes," Grimshaw said.

If you're feeling dehydrated, get to shade and grab some ice or a wet towel to help cool you off.

The Kentucky Derby Festival will have several first aid stations and first responders throughout Waterfront Park if you need immediate help.

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