An Ounce of Prevention = A Pound of Cure.
Avoiding loud noise may help prevent premature hearing loss. There are easy ways to identify if a particular sound is potentially harmful. Review the questions below to see if you or someone you love is affected by noise-induced hearing loss.
- Do you have difficulty talking or hearing others talk over the sound?
- Does the sound make your ears hurt?
- Do your ears ring after hearing the sound?
- Do other sounds seem muffled after exposure?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, noise may be damaging your hearing.
Most people don’t realize how loud everyday sounds actually are. Sounds above 85 dB are harmful, depending on how long and how often you are exposed to them. The louder a sound is, the lower the amount of exposure required to cause damage. If used properly, hearing protection devices can reduce the loudness of sound reaching the ears.
How Loud Are Everyday Sounds?
The table below identifies decibel levels for common noises. How often and for how long have you been exposed to 85 dB and above?
|Noise||Average decibels (dB)|
|Leaves rustling, a whisper||20-30 dB|
|A normal conversation||60 dB|
|Vacuum cleaner, average radio||75 dB|
|Heavy traffic, noisy restaurant||80–90 dB|
|Motorcycle, snowmobile||96–100 dB|
|Chainsaw, jackhammer||106–115 dB|
|Sports crowd, rock concert||120–129 dB|
|Gun shot, siren at 100 feet||140 dB|
Nearly 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels each day. With 10 million Americans suffering from irreversible hearing damage due to noise, it is never too early to start actively protecting your hearing. Remove yourself from loud settings. Turn down the radio and television. Wear earplugs if you cannot avoid loud environments. Start today by following these recommendations and contacting a certified hearing care provider or Audiologist to have your hearing professionally evaluated.