Here And Now
Safe Sound Levels
Safe Sound LevelsHow often do you think about your hearing safety when listening to music, or in loud locations such as pubs, clubs and music venues?
There are so many different environments where we can be exposed to sound levels that could contribute to hearing loss if overexposure or unsafe listening occurs. It is estimated that nearly 50% of teenagers and young adults aged 12-35 are exposed to unsafe sound levels from personal audio devices, and around 40% are exposed to potentially damaging levels at clubs and bars.
The sound levels for safe listening depend on the intensity or loudness of the sound, the duration a person is exposed, and how frequent the exposure is. These 3 factors contribute to the overall sound energy level your ears are exposed to.
85 decibels (dB) is considered to be the highest safe exposure level for up to a maximum of 8 hours. As sound levels increase, the duration for safe listening decreases. The sound level at bars and nightclubs can range from 104 to 112 dB and concerts may be higher.
Exposure to loud noise over prolonged periods of time causes fatigue of the ear’s sensory cells, which can result in temporary hearing loss or tinnitus. As your sensory cells recover, your hearing will improve. However, when exposure is loud and regular or occurs over long periods of time, permanent damage of the sensory cells can occur, resulting in irreversible hearing loss.
There are several ways in which you can ensure you protect your hearing in loud environments and when listening to personal audio devices.
Respect safe sound levels! Many new phones will now advise safe sound levels when headphones are inserted, and allow you to monitor your volume and listening habits.
Wear earplugs to events and loud environments such as nightclubs, concerts, sporting events and other noisy places. Well inserted ear plugs help to considerably reduce the level of noise exposure.
Wearing noise cancelling headphones will cut down background noise allowing users to hear sounds more clearly at lower volumes.
Take listening breaks. If you are in a noisy environment or listening to an audio device, ensure you take regular listening breaks to reduce the overall duration of noise exposure.
Keep clear of speakers and move away from loud sounds at nightclubs and concerts.
Monitor the sound levels in your environment using apps on your smartphone such as the Soundcheck app by Starkey.
At The Ear Place, we can protect your hearing as well as treating hearing loss. One of our services is providing custom made hearing protection for activities such as shooting, motorsports, musicians, and more. All of our hearing protection or noise reduction products are custom made to ensure maximum protection and comfort, and are available in a range of colours and come with free aftercare to ensure satisfaction.
Speak to one of our audiologists today to discuss custom made hearing protection, hearing tests and more.
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