#HearingFactFriday: Too few people follow good hearing protection practices

Exposure to sounds 85 decibels (dB) and above is all it takes to damage your hearing. A food blender is 88 dB. A car wash is 89 dB. A lawn mower? That’s 96 dB. And pretty much most sporting events and restaurants exceed safe sound levels, too.*

So what’s a person to do? You can’t be expected to wear hearing protection when you’re making a smoothie.

No – but it is good advice to know your limits. The key to noise-exposed hearing loss is decibel level PLUS time exposed. So unless you’re blending your smoothie for eight straight hours, you should be ok.

Loudness plus exposure time equals risk

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends eight hours of exposure at 85 dB, then for every five dB after that, the time is cut in half. So if you’re going to a concert where it’s 100 dB loud, either bring hearing protection, leave after a half hour, or do what apparently 75 percent of us do — risk it. (For the record, Starkey recommends you wear ear plugs.)

Luckily, there’s an easy way to measure how loud it is where you are. With our SoundCheck Hearing app, you can use your smartphone to check the noise levels in any environment in real time.

If you want some advice on how to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, check out these 10 tips to protect your hearing. If you think you have hearing loss and want to consult with someone about what to do next, we can help. Call 1-888-908-1845 or click here and we’ll help you schedule a consultation with a hearing care professional in your area.


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By Starkey Hearing