How Loud is Too Loud?

Most everyone knows that loud noise can have a damaging effect on your hearing. But how loud is too loud?

The general guideline is that when noise reaches 80-85 dB it can start causing damage to our hearing with continuous exposure over a 4-8 hour time period. That is the same volume as a lawn mower.

As the volume of the sound goes up, the length of exposure lessens which causes hearing loss. A leaf blower produces about 90 dB of noise and it would only take 2 hours or continuous exposure to cause damage.

Being in a rock concert, with noise up to 120dB it would take less than 10 seconds for hearing damage to occur. 

As you can see, it is important to take care when you are in noisy situations, in order to try and limit the long term effects it can have on your hearing. The easiest way is to use properly fitted hearing protection. Noise plugs with a noise reduction rating on 26 dB would be able to take down the noise level at a sporting event that could cause hearing loss in 14 min. To a level that would be safe for over 8 hours of duration ( 100dB Sporting Event - 26 dB NRR noise plugs = 74dB of noise) 

In really noisy situations you can even double up your hearing protection with noise plugs and muffs, which would bring the noise level down even further.