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Common Sounds That Can Hurt Your Hearing

Your ears are very delicate, so it’s no surprise that hearing loss is a common chronic health condition. But did you know, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s the third most common chronic health condition in America? And exposure to loud noises is the leading cause. Because hearing damage is permanent, we want to share the types of sounds that could be damaging your hearing so you can do your part in protecting your ears.

What is considered “too loud”?

Sounds are measured in adjusted decibels (dBA) and a normal conversation is typically measured at around 60 dBA. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, when a sound reaches 85 dBA it can begin to cause harm to your hearing.

Common, every day sounds that could be doing damage to your hearing:

Loud (85-100 dBA) sounds include:

• Handsaw
• Lawnmower
• Garbage disposal
• Heavy traffic
• Noisy restaurant
• Vacuum cleaner
• Hair dryer
• Blender
• Factory machinery

Eight or more hours of exposure to noises in this decibel range can cause hearing damage over time.

Very Loud (101-120 dBA) sounds include:

• Baby crying
• Squeaky toys
• Snow blower
• Leaf blower
• Live sporting events
• Subway
• Chainsaw
• Passing motorcycle
• Headphones (turned all the way up)

Exposure to sounds in this decibel range can cause damage in just 2 hours; this includes listening to music in your headphones on full blast.

Painfully Loud (121-170 dBA) sounds include:

• Rock Concert
• Airplane taking off
• Stereo turned up
• Balloon popping
• Police or Ambulance sirens
• Jackhammer
• Firearms
• Fireworks (at 3 feet)

Sounds in this decibel range can cause hearing damage in as little as 30 seconds.

You can protect your hearing! Throw earplugs in your purse or pockets if you know you’ll be somewhere very loud (at a rock concert) or just in case you need to use them. If you believe you’re suffering from hearing loss please call Evolution Hearing at our Charlottesville, VA location, 434-260-8007 or at our Raleigh, NC location, 919-670-3258 to schedule an appointment today.