According to the American Occupational Health and Safety Administration, people should not be exposed to sounds over 115 decibels (dB) for more than 15 minutes at a time. Prolonged exposure to high amplitude sounds can have serious repercussions on hearing and overall health. Long-term noise exposure not only causes hearing loss, but has also been linked to stress, hypertension and cardiac problems. Unfortunately, we live in a very noisy world and are often exposed to loud sounds on a daily basis. Here are some examples of our everyday sound exposure:
- City traffic: 85 dB
- Pneumatic tools: 110-125 dB
- Concert: 115 dB
- Arena: 105 dB
- Lawn mower: 100 dB
After prolonged noise exposure it is best to give your ears an auditory rest. Ringing in your ears after noise exposure is your ear’s warning signal and can indicate damage to your inner ear’s hair cells (which are essential to hearing). It is imperative to protect your hearing by avoiding noisy situations whenever possible. In cases where noisy environments are unavoidable, be sure to use protective measures (i.e. earplugs).
There are a whole range of different products designed to help you avoid noise exposure damage to your hearing system. These include generic foam plugs and ear muffs in addition to custom made ear molds and even hunting specific devices which amplify soft sounds while providing protection from gun fire, and musician ear plugs which maintain the natural quality and fidelity of sound. Davidson’s has access to a large range of custom hearing protection devices, which are generally much more comfortable in the ears when worn for extended periods of time. Our custom sleep plugs are fantastic for cutting down ambient sounds at night. No matter what your requirements are, there is a solution out there to help preserve your hearing.
For more information on noise exposure, please see the following link from the American Occupational Safety & Health Association: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/