Being around loud noise for long periods is a major cause of hearing loss. You can protect yourself from this type of hearing loss by limiting your exposure to loud noise, using ear protection and getting regular hearing checks with an audiologist or audiometrist.
But how loud is too loud? Let’s compare some different noises and see how long it’s safe to be around them without protection.
An electric drill creates around 90 decibels of noise. It’s safe to be around this level of noise for up to an hour before hearing loss becomes a risk. But listening to music through earphones at full volume means your ears must deal with 106 decibels of noise! You could only listen to music this loud for around 3 minutes before being in danger of hearing loss.
So, here are some simple tips for protecting your hearing:
- Reduce the volume of music players, TV and radio. You should be able to easily understand someone talking to you from one metre away.
- Limit long periods of exposure to loud noise. Take regular listening breaks.
- Protect your hearing when loud noise is unavoidable. Wear protective equipment, such as noise reduction earplugs at loud events and earmuffs when using power tools and machinery.
Book a hearing check, talk to a health professional, or visit health.gov.au/hearing for more information.