In a world of headphones, loud screens, and live gigs, protecting your hearing from dangerous sounds has become less of a priority yet more important than ever. While it may seem impossible to control at times, we’ve identified four common causes of hearing loss and how to avoid them without inconveniencing yourself or those around you.
Probably the most common contribution to hearing loss, excessive earphone usage is proven to harm hearing health. While it’s unrealistic to stop using them altogether, we suggest investing in over-the-ear headphones instead of in-ear buds. Additionally, you can set the volume of your devices to maximum 75dB, which is recommended as a safe listening level.
Obviously, stage and cinema speakers are beyond your control, but there are easy ways to avoid their impact on your ears. Whenever possible, we suggest selecting a seat as far away from speakers as you can get and asking an usher or venue worker where that would be if you’re unsure. They’re typically equipped to help and may even provide you with sound blockers. Just in case, it’s best to be prepared with your own pair of earplugs.
Home improvement equipment
Prolonged home repairs can cause damage to hearing, especially if there are young children in the house, whose ears are still developing. If you’re using equipment such as chainsaws and nail guns or you’re in close proximity to someone using these devices, you should know that they can reach 110-140dB. We suggest getting the entire family a pair of earplugs or protective headphones.
They’re both a joy and a curse. Research shows that noise generated by a popped balloon, at its highest level, can be compared to a high-powered shotgun going off next to someone’s ear. However, not all bursts had the same impact. Researchers measured the noise effects by bursting balloons three different ways: popping them with a pin, blowing them up until they ruptured and crushing them until they burst. The loudest was the ruptured balloon at almost 168 decibels, four decibels louder than a 12-gauge shotgun. Simply one exposure could be considered unsafe to hearing for both children and adults.