What do the following items have in common?
- Mowing the lawn
- Indoor/outdoor concerts and parades
- Vacuuming the floor
- Demolition derby
- Using a blender
- Water skiing/wake boarding/wave runners
All of these activities involve elevated decibel levels which can lead to hearing loss. Sound is measured in decibels and knowing how much noise can damage hearing is a good step to protect your ears. We only get one set of ears, so let’s keep them healthy.
Experts agree that hearing damage can happen if a person is around noise that is 80-85 dB–which is the sound level of a busy city street. Lawn mowers, screaming children and rock music clock come in around 110 dB with ambulance sirens, jet engines and firecrackers taking the top spots at 130-140 dB. Exposure to noise around the 105 dB level for just 15 minutes each week can cause permanent hearing loss. However, continued exposure to sounds around the 80-85 decibel level over time can be just as damaging if you are exposed to them each day.
Use earplugs whenever you will be around noises with elevated decibel levels. Turn down the music or the television. Keep that digital music device at safe levels and be cautious when driving with the radio cranked up. Small space and big noises are not a winning combination for your ears.
Stand up for your hearing and acquire appropriate ear protection if you work in loud conditions. Give your hearing a holiday by by refraining from loud music or other noises. Your ears will need around 16 hours of rest after two hours of 100 dB entertainment or work.
If you suspect your hearing may be waning, please schedule an appointment with South Valley Ear Nose & Throat. Our audiologists and physicians can determine the type of hearing loss you may be experiencing and will create a treatment plan to help you preserve and possibly correct your hearing issues.