Everyday we are constantly being exposed to sounds. Normally, these sounds are at safe levels and do not affect our hearing. However, when we are exposed to sounds that are too loud or that last a long time—our inner ear can be damaged, causing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss.
According to recent data, 36 million Americans have hearing loss. Of these individuals one in three developed their hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise. Furthermore, approximately 12% of all children ages 6-19 have noise-induced hearing loss.
The loudness of sound is measured in decibels (dB). Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to any loud sounds over 85 dB. Below is a list of common everyday sounds and their corresponding loudness levels.
- 60 dB - Normal conversations or dishwashers
- 80 dB - Alarm clocks
- 90 dB - Hair dryers, blenders, lawnmowers
- 100 dB - MP3 players at full volume
- 110 dB - Concerts (any music genre), car racing and sporting events
- 120 dB - Jet planes at takeoff
- 130 dB - Ambulances
- 140 dB - Fireworks and custom car stereos at full volume
Take this quiz to see if you need to get your hearing tested: Ten Ways to Recognize Hearing Loss
Hearing Loss Prevention Program
The Center's Hearing Loss Prevention Program aims to identify hearing loss and teach students how to protect one of their most valuable assets – their hearing. Through this initiative The Center provides free presentations and hearing testing to children throughout the greater Houston community.
Lead your school's efforts to keep students safe and healthy. For more information and to schedule an interactive hearing loss prevention presentation at your school, contact Jen.
For more information on The Center’s free hearing screenings, click here.
Hearing Protection Devices
Protect your hearing by wearing hearing protection (i.e. ear plugs, ear muffs) when around loud sounds. Take a look at these hearing protection devices; any of them can be ordered through the Audiology Department.
Dangerous Decibels Guide from dangerousdecibels.org