Over 48 million Americans suffer from significant hearing loss. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can you do to prevent yourself being one of them. The most important thing is being aware of how easily you can damage your own ears.
The softest sound the average human can hear is measured at just above 0 decibels (dB). A whisper measures at around 20dB, rainfall at around 40dB and the average person speaking hits around 50dB.
Crash, bang, smash….
On the other end of the scale we have an ambulance at around 120dB, fireworks at around 140dB and right at the top, a rocket launch can hit as high as 180dB.
But…how we do we know when something is so loud it could damage our ears?
Hearing experts believe that extended exposure to anything above 85dB can be damaging to our ears. However, the louder the sound, the less exposure needed to cause issues. Therefore, short exposure to something like a jackhammer (120dB) can do as much damage as longer exposure to a noisy tractor (90dB). In fact, even a nearby thunder clap (120dB) can cause permanent damage.
Though we are not able to control certain noises, there are some we can.
Turn it down.
Listening to music in our headphones can easily exceed 85dB. In fact, most cell phones can hit 100dB, no problem. Think how regularly you may be listening to music that is that bit too loud.
When attending music concerts, try to avoid places by large speakers, and wear hearing protection when necessary.
If you regularly use loud power tools, how about treating yourself to adequate ear defenders, so you can do your DIY without worry?
Think at work.
Are you regularly exposed to loud noises at work? Speak to your boss about protecting your ears, so you aren’t left with hearing issues in later life.
So now you’re aware of the steps you can take, take them and protect yourself. If you have any questions or need any advice on hearing-related issues, contact our friendly team at North Houston Hearing Solutions today.
Dr. Lacey Brooks received a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry in 2003, and earned her doctorate of audiology in 2009. She completed her clinical internships and residency at various facilities within Houston Medical Center. Dr. Brooks is a professional member of the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), a member of the Texas Academy of Audiology (TAA), and is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She is also the vice president of the Louisiana State University Houston Chapter Alumni Association.