Santa Barbara
70° F
Santa Maria
53° F
San Luis Obispo
53° F
58° F

Tips to protect your hearing

By Daniel Waters, Contributing writer
Published On: May 25 2011 09:56:44 AM CDT

iStock / zwolafasola

Hearing loss can affect anyone at any age. Frequent exposure to loud noise at work or for leisure can damage your hearing forever. However, it can be hard to know how loud is too loud.

Sound is measured in decibels denoted as dB(A). The following chart shows a number of common situations and their respective decibel level: - 20 dB(A) is a quiet room at night
- 60 dB(A) is ordinary conversation
- 70 dB(A) is a city street
Sounds Over 80dB(A) Can Damage Your Hearing:
- 80 -120 dB(A) is a night club
- 110dB(A) is a pneumatic drill nearby
- 110 - 120 dB(A) is a rock concert
- 130 dB(A) is an airplane taking off 100 meters away
- 140 db(A) is the threshold of pain for many people
A good rule of thumb is that if you can't talk to people two meters away without shouting, it means the noise level is dangerous and you should take precautions to protect your hearing.

If you've ever been to a club or listened to loud music on your MP3 player and then found you either have ringing in your ears or that you can't hear properly for a few hours afterwards, then your ears are telling you that the sound was too loud.

Methods Of Protecting Your Ears

How you should protect your ears depends upon the given situation, so here are some examples of common aural dangers and what you can do to protect yourself.

Going To A Club?
- Use chill out areas to give your ears a rest.
- Avoid dancing or standing beside loud speakers.
- Wear earplugs designed for clubs if you go clubbing regularly. They will reduce the level of sound hitting your ears, but they won't impair the variety of tones, ensuring the music sounds the same.

Going To A Concert Or Festival?
- Stand away from the loud speakers.
- Take regular breaks from the music to give your ears a rest.
- If you want to watch the main act at the front of the stage, watch the support from farther back.
- If you regularly go to concerts and festivals, again, wear specially designed earplugs. They only cost the price of a CD.

MP3s, Personal Stereos
The advent of music downloads has made personal listening devices more popular than ever. Unfortunately, their close proximity to the ears means they can have a very damaging affect on your hearing if they are not used sensibly.- If you can't hear external sounds when you've got your headphones on it's probably too loud.
- Take regular breaks from your headphones to give your ears a rest.
- Turn down the volume a notch -- even a small reduction in volume can make a big difference to the risk of damage to your hearing.
- Avoid using the volume to drown out background noise, for example, the sound of the train or traffic.
- Use headphones rather than ear phones, as headphones block external noise so you don't need to increase your volume to hear the music.
- Some MP3s have volume-limiting software that keep the output at a safe level.

Protection While Shooting
The sound of a gunshot is easily loud enough to damage your hearing, so it's critical that you always wear ear protection. The three main options available are ear plugs, ear muffs and electronic hearing protection. Muffs provide more protection than plugs, but a good set of plugs is still better than a poor set of muffs. Electronic protection generally refers to electronic muffs which often have a tone and volume control so you can amplify sounds and frequencies as well as block them.

It is important to understand that once your hearing deteriorates it will not come back and often you won't know the damage you have done until it catches up with you in later life.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • fatal_accident_investigation

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • Lupita Nyong'o

    REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

    People's 'World's Most Beautiful' list 2014

    People magazine recently named Lupita Nyong'o its "World's Most Beautiful" for 2014. See which other ladies earned a coveted spot on the annual list.

  • Slideshow: Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.