Protect your ears from machine noise
If a sound is above 85 db, then it can hurt your hearing especially with prolonged exposure. Here are some machines that can hurt you:
- 150 db – Shotgun
- 115 db – Jet ski
- 110 db – Snow mobile (driver’s side)
- 106 dB = Gas leaf blower, snow blower
- 100 db – Chain saw, tractor
- 85 db – Threshold for risk of hearing damage
- 70 db – Busy traffic or vacuum cleaner
- 60 db – Conversation or dishwasher
- 40 db – Quiet room
Want to know more about protecting your ears from noise?
Even though the environment is calm and peaceful, it is the equipment that you use in that environment that causes hearing loss. Below are some comparisons to sharpen your awareness:
- Shotgun: It is not the ducks you seek, but the machines you bring to get the ducks that cause hearing loss.
- Jet ski: The lake, river or ocean is peaceful and beautiful. It is the machine you use to move fast in the water that can give you hearing loss.
- Snowmobile: The beautiful snow is not the problem. The machine that helps you travel fast in the snow can bring your hearing loss.
- Gas leaf blower: The leaves sound wonderful in the wind. It is the machine you wear on your back that blows the leaves at your command. That is what gives hearing loss.
- Chainsaw: Trees are majestic and beautiful. Chainsaws are loud and can contribute to your hearing loss.
- Tractor: Grass is green and smells great when it is cut. Tractors are loud and cause hearing damage.
How to protect yourself from the above mentioned loud machines
Here are some things you can do:
- Wear hearing protection. Cotton in the ears will not work. You can buy things that protect your hearing, like earplugs or earmuffs, at the store.
- Earplugs go into your ear so that they totally block the canal. They come in different shapes and sizes. An audiologist can make some just for your ears. Earplugs can cut noise down by 15 to 30 decibels.
- Earmuffs fit completely over both ears. They must fit tightly to block sound from going into your ears. Like earplugs, earmuffs can reduce noise by 15 to 30 dB, depending on how they are made and how they fit.
- Earplugs and earmuffs can be used together to cut noise down even more. You should use both when noise levels are above 105 dB for 8 hours or more. You should also use both if you might hear impulse sounds that are more than 140 dBP.
- Do not listen to loud sounds for too long. Move away from the loud sound if you don’t have hearing protection. Give your ears a break. Plug your ears with your fingers as emergency vehicles pass on the road.
- Lower the volume. Keep personal listening devices set to no more than half volume. Don’t be afraid to ask others to turn down the volume of their devices if you can hear them. Ask the movie theater manager to turn down the sound if the movie is too loud.
- Be a good consumer. Look for noise ratings on appliances, sporting equipment, power tools, and hair dryers. Buy quieter products. This is especially important when buying toys for children.
- Be a local advocate. Some movie theaters, health clubs, dance clubs, bars, and amusement centers are very noisy. Speak to managers about the loud noise and how it may hurt hearing. Ask that they turn the volume down.