Protecting Your Hearing

You can protect yourself from some of the common causes of hearing loss. Here’s how:

Short-term exposure to loud noises, such as explosions, fireworks, or jet engines can cause hearing loss. But so can longer-term exposure to noises that aren’t so loud.Even listening to your MP3 player too loud or too long can damage your hearing.
The loudness of a sound is measured in decibels (dB). Sounds that are louder than 85 dB can cause hearing loss. The higher the decibels, the shorter the amount of time you can be exposed to the sound before hearing loss occurs.

Some of your daily activities may be noisier than you think! Here are the decibel ratings of some common sounds:

•firecracker: 150 dB
•ambulance siren or airplane taking off: 120 dB
•movie theatre: up to 117 dB
•listening to music with headphones: 105-120 dB if the volume is cranked up to the maximum •setting (earbuds, such as those found with popular music-listening devices like MP3 and CD •players, can add 6-9 dB to the volume)
•motorcycle: 95 dB
•noisy restaurant or heavy traffic in the city: 85 dB
•riding in a car: 70 dB
•normal conversation: 60 dB

Here’s how to protect yourself from noise-related hearing loss:

Wear ear protection (ear plugs or ear muffs) if you’ll be exposed to sounds over 85 dB. Generally, a sound is too loud if you can’t hear a person talking 1 metre (3 feet) away.
If your workplace is noisy, wear the recommended ear protection all the time!
Follow the 60-60 rule for your personal music device (such as your MP3 or CD player): listen at 60% of the maximum volume for up to 60 minutes per day. Any more than this can lead to permanent hearing loss. And be careful you don’t turn up the sound too high when you’re in noisy surroundings.




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Pam1 PAMALA A. PANNELL, MS, CCC-A
Pamala A. Pannell is the Director of Audiology at Pro-Audiology of Nashville. She received a Masters of Audiology from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. She is committed to providing quality personalized hearing health care services for the identification, prevention and nonmedical rehabilitation of hearing loss using the most advanced marketed technology. She has earned the reputation for excellent patient care and takes pride in the quality of services offered to patients with hearing and balance problems.