Protecting Your Hearing

What constitutes a dangerous level of noise?

You might be surprised at the level at which noise becomes dangerous.  Even short term exposure to loud noise can permanently damage your hearing.  However, preventable noise induced hearing loss usually develops gradually and painlessly through exposure over time.

Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB).  The higher the decibel levels the louder the noise.  The following table is a guide as to how much noise unprotected ears can tolerate.

How to protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss

To prevent noise-induced hearing loss you should monitor your exposure to sounds and try to avoid hazardous sound environments.  You can identify a hazardous sound environment if you need to raise your voice for others to hear you. 

If you work or spend leisure time in a noisy environment you should always wear hearing protection.  There are a range of products that can be worn each specifically tailored for different hearing situations, from mowing the lawn to attending a rock concert.  West Coast Audiology can provide you with noise protection earplugs to suit your lifestyle or work requirements. 

Listening to an MP3 player through earphones also has the potential to damage your hearing.  Limit the volume on your MP3 player and do not listen for prolonged periods of time.  As a general rule your volume setting is too high if you cannot hear a person near you speaking at a normal level.