While hearing loss is often a natural part of aging, some types of hearing loss can be attributed to exposure to loud noises throughout a person’s life. For example, if the microscopic hairs in a person’s ears are exposed to loud sounds over a period of time, they may become damaged and impact hearing.

So how loud is too loud?
While there are many factors involved, experts suggest that prolonged exposure to sounds louder than 85 dB may cause hearing damage over time.

Common sounds

“Common everyday sounds may be louder than you think.”

According to Hear Net, many noises you hear on a daily basis may be louder than you think.

  • Conversation 3-5 feet away: 60-70 dB.
  • Telephone dial tone: 80 dB.
  • City traffic: 85 dB.
  • Train whistle from 500 feet away: 90 dB.
  • Subway train from 200 feet away: 95 dB.
  • Motorcycles: 95 dB.
  • Personal music device turned all the way up: 100 dB.
  • Lawn mower: 107 dB.
  • Power saw: 110 dB.
  • Clap of thunder: 120 dB.
  • Sirens: 120 dB.
  • Jet engine from 1,200 feet away: 140 dB.

Protect your hearing
Be aware of the sounds in the environment around you. If you are concerned that you are exposed to loud noises too frequently, simple commonsense measures may help make a difference. Turn down your music. Use ear protection when working with power tools or a lawn mower. Stand back from the subway train or take an alternative route that doesn’t bring you too close to a train whistle. Even something as simple as wearing earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones can help protect your hearing when you can’t control the loud sounds in your everyday life.  As with anything health related, consult your doctor or audiologist if you have questions or concerns.

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