Protecting Your Hearing:
Hearing loss from exposure to loud sounds is painless, progressive and permanent. The good news is through protection and limiting your exposure to loud sound levels, you can prevent hearing damage.
Hearing damage has been noted to occur when sounds exceed 85 decibels (dB). When dealing with noises over this range it is important to protect your ears with the use of ear protection. It is recommended to use ear protection while being around the following noises.
- Motorcycles, hair dryers, lawn mowers and leaf blowers (85-100dB)
- Woodshops, chainsaws, small firecrackers (100-110dB)
- Rock concerts (100-120dB)
- Ambulance sirens, jet engines at close range (119-140dB)
- 140 Jet engine at take-off
- 130Ambulance sirens
- 120Personal stereos at high volume
- 110Rock concert
- 90Lawn mower
- 80Risk of hearing damage starts at 85dB
- 70Alarm Clock or Busy Street
- 60 Normal conversation
- 40Average Office
- 20 Watch ticking
If you notice the following symptoms after exposure to loud sounds, you may be over-exposed and could potentially be causing long-term damage:
- Voices suddenly sound muffled and are hard to understand.
- You experience ringing, buzzing or fluttering in one or both ears (otherwise known as tinnitus).
- Your ears hurt after being in a loud place.
- Your hearing is suddenly super sensitive to noise.
*If any of these symptoms last longer than a day, you should visit your doctor, Ear, Nose and Throat specialist or audiologist.
*Information from House Ear Institute
There are many different forms of ear protection. Read more below to find the right fit for you.
Foam Earplugs: This form of ear protection is disposable and expands to fit in your ear canal. Foam plugs will reduce all sounds to some extent, and are great for reducing higher pitched sounds. These earplugs are inexpensive and available at your local drugstore.
Pre-Molded Earplugs: Made from plastic, silicone or rubber, these reusable earplugs are used for more evenly reduced sounds. They are also created for work environments that are dirty or dusty because there is no need to mold them with your hands. These earplugs are available in multiple sizes to accommodate all ear canal sizes. When inserted properly they should fit in a way that completely seals the ear canal. Pre-molded plugs are inexpensive and available over the counter.
Custom-Molded Earplugs: These earplugs are created to fit the individual shape of your ear canal. Custom molds are extremely comfortable, and reduce the sound equally across high and low spectrums, making this earplug ideal for musicians and concertgoers. You may have custom-molded earplugs ordered by scheduling an appointment at one of our offices.
Earmuffs: This type of ear protection creates an acoustic seal around the outer ear through a solid shell. Earmuffs are perfect for people who use ear protection often. A downfall to this type of protection can be the heaviness and bulkiness. Earmuffs may be purchased online or in a sporting good stores.
For more information visit the Hearing Protection section of our website.