When to Wear Ear Protection
When to Wear Ear Protection
Everyone responds to noise differently, but we all need to protect our ears from damage due to excessive noise. Even if your hearing isn't as sensitive, failing to properly protect your ears in noisy situations can lead to a loss of hearing. When asking yourself whether or not you should be wearing some form of protection, it's important to look at the type of noise to which you're being exposed.
How Decibels and Pitch Can Affect Your Hearing
When referring to decibels, we're speaking of the intensity or volume of the noise. This can be any type of noise from music at a live concert to the sounds machinery makes in your place of employment. In either case, the decibel level of the noise can cause permanent damage to your hearing, if you endure prolonged exposure without any ear protection.
Equally harmful is the pitch of the noise, which refers to the frequency of the vibrations that the sound makes per second. An example of a low frequency might be the sound of a tuba. The pitch of a violin is one example of a high pitched sound.
Children have the widest range of hearing, which allows them to hear sounds ranging in pitch from 20 Hertz (think of the lowest note on a piano) to 20,000 Hertz (think of a dog whistle). As people get older and experience hearing loss through a lack of proper ear protection, that range shortens. This makes it difficult to understand the voices of small children and women.
Generally speaking, hearing protection should be worn anytime the sound rises to 85 decibels or higher. Below are examples of common sounds and their average decibels to give you a point for reference:
Soft whisper - 20 dBA
Bird chirping - 30-40 dBA
Normal office sounds - 40-50 dBA
Normal conversation - 50-60 dBA
Machinery, including garbage disposals, traffic, and electric motors - 70-90 dBA
Lawn mower, power saw, jack hammer, rock concert - 100-120 dBA
Gun shot, jet airplane - 140 dBA or higher
Sounds that rise to 140 dBA or higher will cause severe ear pain, if exposed without protection.
If You Think You Have Experienced Hearing Loss in Santa Clarita
Advanced Audiology offers free hearing screenings to help you determine if you have experienced a loss of hearing. If you haven't, we can offer tips and advice on how to better protect your hearing in a variety of situations. If you already have experienced a loss of hearing, Advanced Audiology can help you protect the hearing capability you have left, as well.
The services we offer include:
- Hearing screening
- Hearing aid evaluation
- Hearing aid fitting and/or repair
- Tinnitus treatments
Contact Advanced Audiology in Santa Clarita today to learn more about protecting your hearing. By working with our audiology specialists, you can keep your ears healthy and your hearing quality at its best.
Nola Aronson’s Advanced Audiology
23822 Valencia Blvd. #103
Santa Clarita, CA 91355