The human ear perceives sounds with an intensity of 0 to 120 dB. However, this does not mean that we can actually be regularly and over a long period of time exposed to sounds of such high intensity. Many people complain of pain symptoms as low as 80 decibels. Such intensity can also damage hearing and cause various health ailments. The higher the volume of the sounds, the more negative consequences on your health. What volume level is harmful? What sounds should I avoid?
Noise up to 40 dB
Experts estimate that sounds below 40 dB should not damage hearing. This range includes the rustling of leaves, normal conversation, and the refrigerator’s operation. However, it is worth remembering that even if it is initially a pleasant sound, it can cause irritation and problems with focusing over time. Therefore, it is recommended to take a break from such everyday sounds and let your hearing rest.
Noise up to 70 dB
Sounds between 40 and 70 dB are much more dangerous to the hearing. It is the noise of the air conditioner, refrigerator, dryer, vacuum cleaner, or internal combustion engine in a passenger car. This noise can be a nuisance in the long run. It usually causes trouble concentrating and falling asleep. It affects the functioning of the nervous system, so it is also natural to reduce efficiency. It is also difficult to talk in such noise without raising the tone.
Noise up to 85 dB
The noise of this intensity is quite dangerous for the hearing. If a person is exposed to such noise frequently, he/she must take into account hearing impairment. Exposure to such noise is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. 85 dB is the volume of sounds emitted by a car horn.
Noise up to 130 dB
Sounds between 85 and 135 dB damage hearing. To measure them accurately, a hearing test is necessary. Thanks to the hearing test, it is possible to assess how advanced the damage is and plan treatment. Sometimes the only solution is a hearing aid or even an implant. With such a high volume of sounds, it is possible to damage the hearing even after very short noise exposure.
Many people still underestimate the problem and claim that the moment of noise exposure cannot have negative effects. Especially people who work in high noise conditions should remember about proper hearing protection. Protective headphones are highly recommended when working in such conditions. It is also very important to take regular breaks to reduce exposure to vibrations associated with such high noise. Here it is also worth mentioning which sounds are in this range:
– 100 dB – busy street, jackhammer,
– 110 dB – motorcycle without a muffler,
– 120 dB – music in a nightclub,
– 130 dB – jet aircraft.
If you want to take care of your hearing, you should definitely have your hearing tested regularly and avoid exposure to the most bothersome noises. Be especially careful if sounds trigger a pain reaction in you.