Our ears are really sensitive to noise. There’s the possibility of hearing damage when exposed to sounds of 85 decibels, without any hearing protection, for eight hours. That’s roughly equivalent to a lawnmower (85 dB) or a noisy restaurant (88 dB). Unless you work in a restaurant, it’s unlikely that you’ll be exposed to noises of that level for that long.
But there is a strong possibility that you’ll be exposed to louder noises, at a music concert, for example. And the louder the noise, the less time it takes to damage your hearing. Concerts and festivals average 97 dB, while rock concerts are even louder, at 104 dB. Just 30 minutes of exposure to 97 dB without hearing protection could cause damage, while it could take just 7.5 minutes at 104 dB. So, a couple of songs from your favorite band could cause damage to your ears. Is it really worth it?
Exposure to loud noises can also cause other hearing problems, like tinnitus. If you’ve ever had a ringing in your ears after a concert, you’ll know what we mean by tinnitus. Sometimes, it goes away after a few hours, but in other cases – and often, with repeated exposure – it can become permanent.
Okay, so you know that protecting hearing is important. But what are the different types of hearing protection available? There are a few different options out there, so it’s important to find the right one for you.