Noise Exposure: Is It Time To Turn Down The Volume?

Prolonged exposure to loud noise could be bad for your health. Below are some of the dangers of loud noise explained, as well as a few ways to protect yourself from noise exposure.

The dangers of noise exposure

Exposure to loud noises can damage our hearing by overstimulating the nerves. Some people can become partially deaf as a result of noise exposure, while others may develop a condition known as tinnitus, which causes a constant ringing in the ears. Hearing aids can be used to treat hearing loss and tinnitus. While most older people eventually require hearing aids, many people exposed to loud noises require a hearing aid much earlier. 

Constant noise exposure can also cause heightened levels of stress. People that live in noisy areas can experience higher levels of depression and anxiety. Sleep quality can also be affected – both by the loud noise and stress that it causes. 

How loud is too loud?

Anything constantly above 70 decibels is likely to cause stress. Long or repeated exposure to sounds above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. At 100 decibels, hearing loss can occur in just 15 minutes.

To give you an idea of how loud some environments can be: busy roads often reach levels between 70 and 80 decibels, construction sites sit at an average level of 80 to 90 decibels, nightclubs are often between 90 and 100 decibels, loud rock concerts can reach up to 120 decibels and a jet engine at 100ft is about 140 decibels. 

Generally speaking, if you experience ringing in your ears or pain after being in a certain environment, hearing damage has already started to occur. 

How can I protect myself against noise exposure?

There are a few ways in which you can protect yourself against the harmful effects of noise. These are listed below:

Wear earplugs in noisy environments

When working in a noisy environment or attending a noisy event, there is no shame in wearing earplugs. They are the best form of defense against loud noise and could prevent hearing loss. Nowadays there are many earplug designs to choose from including some that are able to reduce and focus sound without muffling it. 

Be careful of playing your music too loudly

Be careful of playing your music too loudly in your car or on your headphones. Many phones and stereo systems now offer warnings when music can cause hearing damage. In a regular car, the music should not be so loud that you cannot hear the car while at speed. 

Opt for quiet equipment and tools

A lot of modern equipment and tools are designed to be quiet in order to reduce noise pollution. If you own a construction business or factory, take sound levels of equipment into account. You can also look into sound levels of household appliances like vacuum cleaners and washing machines. 

Soundproof your home against external noises

If you live near a busy road or airport, it could be worth taking measures to soundproof your home. This could help to reduce stress at home and help you to sleep. You can look into ways of soundproofing a home here

Give your ears a rest

Make sure that you’re not constantly bombarding your ears with noise. If you’ve just been to a rock concert, consider trying to have a quiet day the next day. A rest may actually help your ears to heal if you haven’t been exposed to noise for too long.


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