At what point are sounds too loud? As the nearby graphic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out, the widely held belief is that 85 decibels and louder can cause permanent damage to cells in our inner ear.
The answer is more complicated than that however. The length of exposure also plays a key role. While it may not seem like our household tools are all that loud, prolonged exposure can cause irreversible damage to our hearing. Compound that over years or even decades of household chores and a significant number of hearing cells are damaged.
A common misperception is that we need to be exposed to loud noise at work to suffer a permanent hearing loss. In a CDC report, some 40 million Americans have some level of noise induced hearing loss, but only half report having exposure to loud noise at work.
What else is causing hearing loss?
We live in a increasingly loud world. Traffic, music, mass transit, household appliances all add a constant din to our lives. You don’t need to experience ear pain to be hurting your hearing cells. One-off events like a gun shot or explosion can be enough to cause permanent loss. Rock concerts–some have been recorded in excess of 120 decibels. Concert goers and musicians are both at high risk. And its not just rock musicians: orchestra members and conductors quite frequently have hearing loss. Speaking of music, our headphones can deliver damaging levels of sound every single day. Do you fly frequently? The noise level inside the cabin of most commercial jets falls in the 80-90 decibel range.
As you can see, you don’t need to be a jack hammer operator to have hearing loss caused by noise. Everyday life is exacting a toll on your hearing.
3 Things to do for your hearing today
- Wear hearing protection when you know you are going to be around loud noises (hunting, motorcycling, concerts, yard work etc.)
- Turn down the volume on your personal head phones!
- Get a hearing test by a licensed professional. The only way to know for sure if you are experiencing any level of loss is to be tested. Just as you get your eyes checked every year, you should get your hearing tested.
Get tested, call Moore Audiology today! 623 825-0999