While hearing loss inhibiting conversations have mostly disappeared, people are seriously concerned about the volume at work, in restaurants and on the street. cause permanent hearing loss. So, how high is too high?
Long Story Short, You Should Avoid 85 + dB
For prolonged and repeated exposure, sounds exceeding 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss. And while 85 dB may sound like much, there is a good chance that you will be exposed to 85 dB of sound every day. As an example, each time you open your car window while driving at 50 mph, you are exposed to about 89 dB of sound.
Before becoming too nervous, consider how long and how often you are exposed. Most doctors agree that you can get away with about eight hours of exposure to 85 dB of sound. But even after the sacred eight hours of cutting a lawn or running with the windows, there is a decent chance that you will not maintain permanent hearing loss.
Look, there are little hairs in your ear called sterocili. These hairs vibrate when sound waves enter your ear, and these vibrations turn into neural information that your brain can understand. With prolonged exposure to loud noises (say an eight-hour lawn mowing), your little ear hairs become depressed, like grass blades that have come on. When they are depressed, these hairs stop vibrating, which means that your brain does not get any acoustic signals.
But as a grass blade, your little ear hairs can run up overnight. Sometimes prolonged exposure is not a big deal ̵1; it repeats long-term exposure that will destroy your ears. Every time these earhaires become depressed, they also get a little less spry. Finally, they stop bouncing back, and you're left with permanent hearing loss.
It is also important to note that just because you have continued hearing loss does not mean that you have a higher volume of tolerance. 85 dB is the universal threshold for hearing loss, even if your ears are already exhausted.
In the 85 dB series, open window managers and lawncare amateurs don't have much to worry about. Most people who endure repeated eight-hour exposures to 85 dB are construction workers, employed in bars and sound engineers. That's not to say you're safe from sound-induced hearing loss – you just don't have to worry about the 85 dB threshold as much as someone working in a high-end environment.
What happens after 85 dB?  How we measure sound can be a bit misleading. You assume that 80 dB would be twice as high as 40 dB, but that is not so. The volume doubles with every 10 dB gain, so 80 dB is eight times as high as 40 dB. This is similar to earthquake measurements on the Richter scale.
As the volume increases, your sound tolerance increases at the same rate. At 90 dB, four hours of exposure time will cause permanent hearing loss. Go up to 95 dB, and your ears can only handle two hours of exposure. Press it up to 110 dB and your ears can only take 1 minute and 29 seconds.
Even if you are not exposed to eight horrible hours of lawn mowing, there is a good chance that you have spent several hours on a rock concert several hours, a few hours in the bar, one night on a football game or a full day listening to. music through earplugs. The average rock concert is about 120 decibels, a busy bar is about 90 decibels, NFL games are about 90 dB and most earplugs can reach the 115 decibel mark.
It's easy to see how an average day can reveal you to dangerous noise levels. But if you want to keep doing ordinary things, what can you do to keep your ears safe?
If you work in a high environment, buy some earplugs
If you are a lawn mower, construction worker, musician, bartender, or work in another high environment, then you cannot help but hear dying sounds. Unfortunately, you cannot tell a bulldozer or a speaker to shake, so you have to resort to earplugs.
Happy to you, modern earplugs are cheap, comfortable and practical. Some of them block aggressively incoming sounds, while others actively lower the decibel levels without sacrificing sound security. If you need help finding a good pair of earplugs, there is a good article on Review Geek that goes through different earplugs of high quality.
RELATED: The best earplugs for each situation (aircraft and Screaming Babies Included)
I know your friends and colleagues will entertain you with earplugs. You can explain to them how you really are super cool to care for your health, or you can shamefully hide your earplugs as earplugs. There are plenty of earplugs on Amazon, and some earplugs are tight enough to block external sounds. Just remember that the sound through earplugs does not interrupt the occurring decibel of external sounds, and the dedicated earplugs will always be better to maintain your hearing than a pair of earplugs.
Beware of Surrounding Sound and Noise Pollution
As it turns out, people living in large cities are at high risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Usually this is due to "ambient noise" and "noise pollution." Traffic and construction can fill a city list morning commute with loud noises and late nights at bars and restaurants can be a sonic nightmare.
If you are concerned that city life destroys your ears, you should carefully check how many decibels you are exposed to throughout the day. Download a decibel meter on your phone, like Sound Meter, or Sound Analyzer, or use a dedicated decibel meter for more accurate sound measurements. If you are not satisfied with the sound levels you are exposed to, consider buying earplugs or changing your routines.
For music lovers, wear earplugs to lower volume but not quality
There is a good chance that you have already heard this, but you should always wear earplugs at a concert. The average rock concert is about 120 decibels, and there is a good chance that the show at your local dive or DJ at your favorite club will be more even. There are plenty of earplugs that lower the decibel levels without sacrificing the sound quality, so there is no excuse not to wear earplugs. If your friends are having fun with you, wait until the day after and ask how their ears feel.
Concerts are not the only thing that music lovers have to worry about. Headphones and headphones can usually reach volume levels far above 100 dB, and the audio system in the car or home can be even higher.
You may think you like loud music, but you usually only hear all the details your music has to offer. If your speakers or headphones sound like low volume crap, you should invest in high quality audio equipment. You don't have to break the bank; There are plenty of high quality headphones and speakers that cost less than $ 200.
If you don't want to drop a few hundred on some new headphones, consider adjusting the equalizer settings to compensate for poor sound quality. Most mobile phones and amplifiers have powerful, automatic EQ settings, and they can really enhance the sound quality of your current setting.