There are many reasons people develop auditory issues. But did you know that a common cause of this condition is exposure to excessive levels of noise? Loud sounds can contribute to temporary or permanent acoustic trauma. Thankfully, you can guard yourself against the harmful effects of these noises with the proper equipment.
If you are wondering at what decibel is hearing protection required, the quick answer is as low as 85 decibels. However, it also depends on the situation, as the length of time you are exposed to the source also matters. Read on to find out what type of noise exposure requires hearing protection.
- When using lawnmowers and leaf blowers
Gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers tend to create a lot of noise during operation, usually having a noise level of around 85 decibels. You can safely use these kinds of equipment without hearing protection for a few minutes. They will only start to damage your ears around the 2-hour mark. So, make sure you know where to buy hearing protection and purchase the necessary gear before working on your yard all day.
- When attending sporting events
Hearing an entire crowd cheer for your favorite team at a sporting event can be quite exhilarating. Many forget that the constant exposure to hundreds or even thousands of people shouting at the same time can damage their ears.
Studies show that the noise levels in a stadium environment are at more than 100 decibels. At just 15 minutes of constant exposure, you can already experience some form of hearing loss. Bring earplugs to your next game, and put them on before the event starts to make sure your hearing won’t be damaged.
- When working with heavy machinery
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has specific guidelines for hearing safety for the work environment, often describing at what decibel is hearing protection required for each industry. If you work in construction or any industry that deals with heavy machinery, you will need custom hearing protection. Machines like the jackhammer, bulldozer, and crane, can have noise levels way over 90 decibels.
People who are constantly exposed to heavy equipment operations for 8 hours a day are required to wear hearing protection, as they experience serious hearing loss over time.
These are just some examples of noise exposure that can damage your ears without wearing the proper gear. Schedule a visit to a Bluegrass Hearing Clinic location in Kentucky to learn more about other situations where you will need hearing protection.