It’s never too early for hearing protection
Prolonged noise can damage your hearing — even short bursts of sound over 90 decibels can have an impact.
Permanent hearing loss can occur in as little as 15 minutes with exposure to certain sounds and almost instantly with unprotected exposure to sounds generated from firearms and certain power tools. If your hearing is susceptible to any sounds above 90 decibels, you need to take immediate action to prevent permanent hearing damage. Because once permanent hearing damage occurs, it can't be reversed.
What's your daily exposure to noise?
Gunshot, Jet Engine at Takeoff
Immediate danger to hearing
Air Raid Siren, Firecracker
Rock Concert, Sandblasting
Risk of hearing damage in 7 minutes
Baby's Cry, Jet Ski
Risk of hearing damage in 15 minutes
Snowmobile in Driver's Seat
Risk of hearing damage in 30 minutes
Risk of hearing damage in 1 hour
Chain Saw, Stereo Headphones
Risk of hearing damage in 2 hours
Motorcycle, Power Saw
Risk of hearing damage in 4 hours
Lawnmower, Truck Traffic
Risk of hearing damage in 8 hours
Beginning of OSHA Regulations
Busy traffic, Vacuum Cleaner
*dB SPL is a measurement of sound pressure level in decibels.
Take care of your hearing
Your ears are delicate organs. By taking a few simple steps to protect them, you may be able to prevent hearing loss caused by excessive noise or foreign objects.
To protect yourself from noise:
- Pay attention to noise in your workplace. If the sound level exceeds 85 dB SPL, reduce the noise level or wear ear protectors.
- Lower the volume of your television, stereo and iPod. Take special care if you use headphones or earbuds.
- Be careful not to turn up your car stereo volume too loudly to compensate for noise from the engine or the wind.
- Wear custom noise filters or solid earplugs if you go to rock concerts or nightclubs. Take a break so your ears can rest, and don't stand near loudspeakers.
- Wear headphones or solid earplugs for outstanding noise protection if you use noisy equipment such as drills, lawnmowers, etc.
To avoid damage from foreign objects:
- Don't use cotton wool to protect your ears. Doing so may push wax down onto your eardrum and can increase the production of wax and/or damage the eardrum.
- Don't put fingers, cotton swabs or towels in your ears. These can also push wax down onto your eardrum and damage your skin.
- Avoid washing with unclean water to prevent ear infections.