The normal pain threshold – the point at which you can feel that loud sounds are hurting your ears – for human hearing is 120-130 decibels.
But excessive noise levels that can cause permanent hearing damage are classified as anything above 85 decibels, well-below the pain threshold. This is important to remember, because even though you may not be feeling any pain from the noises you’re hearing, the tiny sensory cells deep inside your ears could be sustaining permanent damage. It’s also important to understand that hearing damage compounds over time, so hearing loss can sneak up on you slowly.
The best way to identify excessive noise levels is to speak normally. If you’re standing at arm’s length from someone and have to raise your voice significantly to be heard, the noise level in your environment is too high and could cause hearing damage. Other signs that the noise level is too high include ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or interpreting other sounds as being muffled.
Hearing loss, caused by excessive noise levels, can’t be recovered, but it can be prevented. Avoid long exposure to excessive noise levels, by taking 15 minute breaks every hour or so at places like concert venues. And use hearing protection whenever you’re going to be in a noisy environment, even for just a short while.
At Colman’s Hearing Solutions, we offer a variety of hearing-protection devices that can be custom-fitted to ensure your comfort.
- Swimmers’ Molds – These are molded to fit your unique ear shape. A customized fit keeps your ears dry while in the water but not if you submerge your head or dive. They can be used to prevent a common infection in the outer ear canal called Swimmer’s Ear.
- Musician’s Earplugs – Designed for musical performers and concert-goers and sound engineers. It guards your ears and are sleek and virtually unnoticeable.
- Custom Ear Inserts for Smart phones, MP3 Players – Shaped exactly to the contours of your ears, they fit comfortably and cut out ambient sound so you can listen to music at a lower, safer volume.
- Industrial Earplugs – Worn in loud environments, this form of hearing protection can provide a better defense than a store-bought ear plug.
Contact our office today at 561-585-5499 for more information on hearing protection.