How to Prevent Hearing Loss
For example, without proper ear protection, running a chain saw for only two minutes can be dangerous for your hearing. The louder the sound, the less time it takes to harm your hearing. Prolonged exposure to moderate levels of noise can also cause hearing loss.
The good news is there are reliable ways to prevent hearing loss. Devices specific to many professions and hobbies exist so that doing your job or enjoying your favorite activities won’t cost you your hearing. Most solutions are easy to use and comfortable to wear so you can incorporate hearing loss prevention into your daily routine.
Talk to us about hearing protection devices for any noisy environments where you work or play. Call us today at 907-268-4404
Sounds That Can Damage Your Ears
Take a look at these decibel ratings and permissible exposure times provided by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NIOSH/CDC).
Intensities of Common Sounds in Decibels
|Sounds||Intensities||Permissible exposure time|
|City Traffic, inside the car||85 dB||8 hours|
|Bulldozer||88 dB||4 hours|
|Jazz Concert||91 dB||2 hours|
|Power Mower||94 dB||1 hour|
|Nightclub||97 dB||30 minutes|
|Ambulance Siren, inside driver window down||100 dB||15 minutes|
|Rock Concert, Leaf Blower||115 dB||30 seconds|
For a complete listing of over 1700 noises and their corresponding decibel levels, check out this list of Exposure Time Guidelines from Dangerous Decibels.
Occupational Hearing Loss Prevention
Loud, constant sounds all day at work can cause long term hearing problems. Extreme, sudden noise bursts louder than 90 decibels, such as gunfire, industrial noises, woodworking, motorcycles, loud music and motorized lawn equipment, are more damaging to hearing than regular and extended exposure to more moderate noise over a longer period.
NIOSH recommends a hearing loss prevention program that includes using hearing protection devices, periodic hearing tests and education for workers along with administrative controls that include accurate record keeping, evaluations and audits.
Ear Protection for Hunters and Recreational Shooters
As a hunter, you need to be able to hear very soft sounds, while still protecting your ears from the peak noise levels of a shotgun blast. Fortunately, hunters have many options for ear protection, including custom or over-the-counter ear plugs or earmuffs and devices that provide amplification while muffling the sounds of gunfire.
Electronic ear plugs enhance the sounds around you. For example, you can hear game movement but also reduce impulse sounds (such as gunfire) to a safe level. This helps prevent damage to your hearing. Electronic ear plugs are available in custom molds as well as standard, less expensive alternatives.
Hearing Protection for Law Enforcement
Ear Protection for Musicians
Traditional earplugs won’t work for the professional musician because they reduce sound by muffling low-to-mid-range frequencies. Instead, look for custom musicians ear molds. They’re available to protect musicians’ ears from loud sounds without distorting what they hear. There are also a variety of “in ear monitors” and other products that will enhance the music experience and protect your ears, whether you’re a serious musician or just a music aficionado.