Hearing loss can be a gradual process resulting from long-term exposure to loud sounds, or it can occur abruptly due to a sudden burst of intense noise. The extent of the damage largely depends on the sound’s decibel level.
Sounds that exceed 70 decibels (dB) can cause harm over time, while those surpassing 120 dB can cause immediate hearing loss. To defend your hearing, one effective measure is the usage of ear plugs.
When To Use Earplugs
The key to protecting your hearing lies in taking breaks from constant loud noises and consistently using adequate hearing protection. A useful rule of thumb is to wear earplugs or other protective equipment when you’re routinely exposed to noise levels above 85 dB. For context, a refrigerator’s hum usually measures around 40 dB, whereas normal conversation falls around 60 dB.
Earplugs can prove beneficial in numerous scenarios. Some places you routinely visit are louder than you may realize and require appropriate hearing protection.
Here are some instances when you should consider wearing earplugs you may not have considered before:
• Workplace environments: Jobs involving noisy machinery, such as factory or construction work, frequently necessitate the regular use of earplugs to minimize hearing damage.
• Concerts and public gatherings: Whether you’re at Starlight Bowl or any other venue, concerts are typical situations where earplug use is essential. Given that concert music typically falls within the 110 dB to 120 dB range, ear protection is an important aspect of enjoying regular concertgoing. Specialized earplugs for music listening are also available.
• Outdoor tasks: Everyday outdoor activities like gardening or operating noisy equipment like lawnmowers and leaf blowers expose you to potentially harmful noise levels, making earplugs necessary.
• Power tool operations: Using power tools such as saws, drills and sanders can jeopardize your hearing health. It’s recommended to use earplugs to minimize this risk and ensure protection during home improvement projects.
• Residence or work near noisy locations: If you live or work near a busy construction site or a loud highway, earplugs can help protect against continuous, high-decibel sounds.
Selecting the right type of hearing protection for each activity is equally important. A hearing specialist can assist you in identifying the appropriate earplugs that cater to your specific requirements.
To learn more about hearing protection or to book a hearing test, get in touch with Sound Advice to arrange an appointment.