All about hearing protection

All About Hearing Protection

In hearing loss, Prevention, Tinnitus by Laurie Duffy, M.S.

We’re often surrounded by very loud sounds. Work, hobbies, and other activities can all include dangerously loud noise that can damage our hearing. This leads to hearing loss, tinnitus, and difficulty following conversations with loved ones. That’s why it’s so important to learn all about hearing protection. 

How Loud Are the Sounds Around You? 

Before you can choose the right hearing protection, you need to know how loud the sounds around you actually are. Some sounds may be safe for a couple of hours, while other sounds can cause hearing loss in a matter of moments.

Sound is measured in decibels (dB). The higher the decibel, the louder the sound. All sounds over 85 dB can cause hearing loss. 

  • At 85 dB, hearing loss is gradual. You probably won’t notice it at first, and it may take several months or years of this noise exposure before you notice hearing loss.
  • At 110 dB, hearing loss can happen a lot faster. Even a few minutes in this noise can cause uncomfortable ringing in your ears and could cause hearing loss. 
  • At 130 dB, hearing loss can happen right away. In just a few moments you can experience permanent hearing loss. 

How Loud Are Everyday Sounds?

Let’s take a look at how loud is too loud. Everyday sounds that can cause hearing loss include:

  • Lawnmowers and leaf blowers – 85 to 90 dB
  • Driving a motorcycle or ATV – 95 dB
  • Taking the subway to work – 100 dB
  • A personal listening device with the volume on high – 105 to 110 dB
  • Heavy machinery – 110 dB
  • Emergency sirens – 120 dB
  • Fireworks or gunshots – 140 to 150 dB

Consider Your Daily Noise Exposure

Are you in noise all day every day? How many hours do you spend in noise and how loud are the sounds you hear in your daily life? Workplace noise and leisure activity noise can cause hearing loss in a hurry, so consider your daily noise exposure. If you spend several hours every day in noise, or you have a loud hobby, learn more about hearing protection and your hearing health. 

Choose the Right Hearing Protection 

There’s a range of hearing protection options to suit every hearing need. For example, if you’re exposed to moderately loud noise, foam or wax earplugs will protect your hearing. But if you’re often in extremely loud noise, earmuffs are a better option.

You’ll also want to consider how often the sound stops. If noises stop and start, you may need hearing protection that filters out dangerously loud sounds, but doesn’t block softer sounds. Digital hearing protection is custom-molded devices that are made to fit your ears. They’ll block out dangerously loud noise, but let soft sounds through. You’ll be able to have a conversation with your coworkers without taking out your earplugs, and your hearing will be protected the moment the noise starts again. 

Foam earplugs

Foam earplugs are often the cheapest and most convenient type of hearing protection. They’re lightweight and easy to have on hand. You can also offer a spare pair to a friend. However, they do not block out extremely loud sounds. And they’re not a good idea if your hands get dirty while working.


Another great option is earmuffs. These protect you from very loud noise by creating a full seal around your ear. They’re also easy to take on and put off throughout the day. However, they can block out a lot of sounds, so if you need to have a conversation, you’ll have to take them off. 

Custom Molded Digital Hearing Protection 

Digital hearing protection uses a sophisticated computer chip to filter out dangerously loud sounds. These devices can block harmful sounds and also allow you to have a conversation with your friends. It’s a great option for musicians, bartenders, servers, hunters, or anyone who wants to hear soft sounds while protecting their ears from extremely loud noise.

Your Hearing Health

Visit us today to learn more about hearing protection. We’ll answer all your questions about hearing health and hearing protection to help you make the best decision for your hearing health. We also offer custom ear protection to defend your ears against harmful sounds. We offer custom hearing protection that will match your needs and help you maintain your hearing health. Contact us today!