Hear What You've Been Missing!

What’s a Safe Listening Volume?

woman listening to music on a bench outdoors

Many people, especially the young generation, are developing hearing loss due to unsafe audio devices such as MP3 and smartphones. Have you ever seen a dangerous animal coming your way, and you are sure that unless you turn back, it will attack you? That is the same case when it comes to hearing. Many people worldwide today ignore any warning signs regarding the hearing. Hearing is essential to every individual. It has a significant impact on each person's educational, professional and social prowess.

Any sound at or below 70 decibels (dB) is safe for listening. Volumes above that are likely to cause a significant impact on hearing over time. Those who are exposed to volumes above 85dB have a greater risk. The challenge is that the effect does not come from loud music or machines only, the period of exposure matters. As volume increases, permissive time for safe listening decreases. However, the one question is, how loud is loud?

Dangerous Loud Noises Are Everywhere

The daily surroundings are full of hazardous loud noises. Your ears are not only endangered in a posho mill or at a party with loud music, these factors are harmful, but they are not the only ones. Even low-volume noises can be harmful, depending on the duration of exposure. This simple outline answers the question, how loud is too loud. Sometimes it requires an audiologist’s guidance:

  • 30dB: This is the average volume level or conversation level. You are safe with this volume no matter how long you are exposed.
  • 80-85dB: This is the estimated volume level of an air conditioner or heavy traffic. Constant exposure to this volume level will harm your hearing after two hours.
  • 90-95dB: A motorcycle noise. Apart from irritating the ear, this level turns harmful within as short as fifty minutes.
  • 100dB: This is the noise produced by a mid-sized sports event or an approaching train. After fifteen minutes of exposure, the noise becomes hazardous.
  • 120dB and above: At this level, think of a significant sports function or a loud rock concert. The impact of this volume level is immediate pain in the ears.

How Can You Tell When It Is Too High?

In reality, you should regard any volume above 85dB as a danger to your ears. But how do you know when it is that high? That is the issue. Many people subconsciously ignore hearing warnings because the volume is not loud enough to hurt the ears. Ringing in the ears, difficulty hearing in a noisy place and buzzing in the ears are some hearing loss warnings resulting from loud noises. 

Appropriate Training and Signage

Training and signage are mainly applicable in the workplace to reinforce the significant risks of hearing loss. Signage can indicate how loud the workplace is, while training lets employees know when hearing protection is necessary. The two have the advantage of protecting your hearing.

Get an App

Although an app cannot control your hearing, a few apps meter the sound levels. It is hard to tell what 85dB feels like; as a result, your hearing is affected without your knowledge. You can use this app to monitor different sound levels. The app tells you when you are entering a danger zone and alerts you when the volume exceeds the limit.

Are you in Doubt? Protect Yourself

The app and the signage are not perfect. Therefore, if you doubt the sound levels, protect your ears. Audiologists warn that noise damage over long periods can cause hearing loss. Injuring your ears is simple, turn the volume a little too loud. Do not turn the volume above halfway if you listen to it the whole day to protect your ears. Find headphones with noise cancellation to avoid higher volume to overcome background noise. 

Knowing when loud becomes too loud is critical in caring for your ears.  The only way to achieve this is to increase your knowledge and level of awareness. Limit your exposure to threatening noises. If you have a child, take the precautionary procedures to their benefit. Now that you know what to look for and what action to take, avoiding hearing loss is easy. Knowledge is power.

Learn more about Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance by calling us today at 801-268-3277. We are always ready to help any time of the day.