We don’t realize it, but our ears are very sensitive. And if we’re not careful, exposure to any loud noises could be the cause of hearing loss. It’s important to know just what sources of noise can affect our hearing, and how to prevent it from completely affecting our senses.
To learn more about these noises and how to effectively measure sound to combat hearing loss, here is everything you need to know.
Sources of Loud Noise
When we think of loud noises, we might think of explosions, firecrackers, or the squealing tires of cars going too fast. However, there are many everyday sources of noise that we don’t think affect our hearing but actually do.
When you are exposed to these sounds on a regular basis, there is a high chance that you might experience hearing loss. The louder the sound is, the more damage it can do. The same goes for the length of exposure to the sound. Without the proper protection for your ears, you are at risk of damaging them permanently.
The most common example of an everyday loud noise is music that you listen to through your devices, especially if you are blasting songs at maximum volume.
If you frequently attend fitness classes, they use loud music to hype up the class goers, but it can be too loud and dangerous at frequent exposure.
Other sources of noise are events such as concerts, big parties, sporting events, and even watching movies in the cinema.
Measuring Decibel Levels
Sound is measured through decibels (dB). To put things into perspective, normal conversation in moderate tones of voice is around 60 dB. A whisper is half this number, and the roar of a motorcycle engine coming to life could measure up to 95 dB.
On average, continuous exposure to noises that go above 70 dB could significantly affect your hearing. And noises that measure up to 120 dB are extremely harmful to your ears.
The hustle and bustle of the city streets could be as loud as 80 to 85 dB, and standing beside sirens could expose you to 120 dB of noise. Hearing loss is entirely possible in the latter scenario, and it could even cause ear pain and injury.
Gauging Which Sound Level is Safe
Many professionals have similar recommendations for gauging the safety levels of the noise around you. For instance, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) both recommend surrounding yourself with environmental noises below 70 dBA for over 24 hours so that you don’t experience hearing loss.
To help gauge the levels of noise that you are exposed to, you can use a sound level meter (SLM). Some apps have also been developed just for this specific purpose, and you can dowload them to your phone. This is very convenient to take around with you as you go about your day to day tasks.
Preserving your hearing will help you maintain a healthy and sound set of ears all the way to your twilight years. By knowing what type of noises to avoid, you can mitigate the risks of hearing loss and keep your ears working well.
If you are worried about your ear health, consult with Hear More Associates. Get a free hearing test in Lexington along with other hearing care services to make sure your ears are healthy. Contact us today!