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Healthy Minds Healthy College

How Loud is Too Loud?

November 14, 2013

Do you take your hearing for granted?  Think about your day and what sounds you hear. Whether it’s your alarm going off, the sound of your children laughing, or crying.  Imagine going through one day without hearing those sounds, or any sounds. 

Causes of hearing loss include a buildup of earwax, infections, damage to inner ear, and a ruptured eardrum. Loud sounds can put you at risk for hearing loss.  The level of noise and the length of time you listen to the noise combined can put you at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise.

Think about loud sounds that you are exposed to on a regular basis.  The average decibel level for a blow dryer can be 80-90 dB.  A gas lawn mower or snow blower decibel levels can be over 100 dB.  Can you imagine what the noise level at a Rock concert could be?  These sounds are loud enough to damage hearing over time.  Prolonged sounds that are louder than 85 dB has the potential to cause permanent hearing loss.

The good news is, hearing loss is preventable.  Wear ear protection if you know you are going to be exposed to loud sounds for more than a few minutes.  There is a wide variety of hearing protection you can use; ear plugs (preformed or foam), ear muffs, or canal caps. 

Hearing Protection

Hearing is a precious thing, so don’t take it for granted.  Consider what loud sounds you are exposed to every day for long periods of time.  Consider the consequences.  Please take care of your hearing. 

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