05 Jun Protect your hearing!
Everyday we are exposed to a range of sounds at all different levels. Sounds that exceed 85 decibels are usually considered harmful. What you may not realize is that 85 decibels equates to the sound of noisy traffic, loud appliances, blenders, mixers, power tools and diesel trucks. Loud music such as in nightclubs, in symphonies or plays, or at a rock concert can exceed 100 decibels.
Regular exposure to sounds at or over 85 decibels can do irreversible damage and the louder the sound the quicker permanent damage can occur. While sound at 85 decibels may take up to 8 hours of exposure to cause damage, sounds over 100 decibels only take a few minutes to cause lasting damage. Sounds measuring over this critical threshold of 100 decibels are all around us; garbage trucks, outboard motors, jack hammers, lawn tractors, leaf blowers and chain saws to name a few.
The good news is that we can protect our hearing and take simple steps to prevent possible damage or further damage. Hearing is a precious sense, and once damage occurs it cannot be repaired or reversed. These are a few everyday tips to help protect your hearing:
Use ear protection wherever possible
- Wear ear protection when working with noisy equipment like lawn mowers, leaf blowers and most especially power tools and saws
- When you are exposed to sudden loud noises (e.g. a jackhammer), cup your hands over your ears or put a fingertip into each canal.
Move away from the source
- Stay as far away from the source of noise as possible.
- Walk away when sounds get too loud.
Turn it down
- At home, turn down the volume on the television, radio, stereo and MP3 player. Don’t forget the car, turn the radio down!
- Reduce the number of noisy appliances running at the same time.
- Buy quieter products (compare decibel ratings – the smaller the better)
For folks working in many professions; our musicians, construction personnel, police, fire fighters or pilots, noise is always present, and often cannot be avoided, but you can take steps to protect your hearing. In addition to some of the everyday tips above, Custom Noise Protection can be worn. Beyond simply covering your ears with earmuffs or sticking cotton in the ear canal, Custom Noise Protection is a silicone product, custom molded to fit your ear and block out harmful noise. Available at most audiology clinics, these products are quick to make, come in a variety of styles and colors and work wonderfully to protect your hearing.