Kevin T. Barlow, Au.D.
What’s your passion? From hunting to classic farm equipment to animal rescue, odds are, that which inspires you also gets a little noisy. But just how loud is too loud?
Common Dangerous Noise Levels
Exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) puts you at risk of hearing loss. Lawn mowers hit 90 dB, animal shelters 118 dB, and a .22-caliber rifle 140 dB — how do the sounds of your profession or pastime compare?
Hearing loss sneaks up on you — it takes a while for you to even notice you don’t hear as well as you used to. But noise-induced hearing loss is preventable with hearing protection. There are many styles and brands to match your hearing lifestyle.
Disposable earplugs. Inexpensive and easy to use, these foam plugs should be discarded after each use. They’re best for things you only do occasionally, such as yearly fireworks shows.
Reusable earplugs. For things you do more often that don’t require frequent conversation (for example, mowing the lawn), use reusable earplugs. They can be easily cleaned and reused, and they often include a cord so you don’t
Musicians’ earplugs. Musicians’ earplugs do come in noncustom varieties and are built to let in important sounds but keep out bad sounds. You’ll hear the music and your friends, but your ears will be safe from the ear-crushing decibels. These are also good for sports fans — you hear your friends’ banter, but you’re safe from the hearing-damaging sound swells during big plays.
Custom general earplugs. You can only get these through a hearing care professional. They’re better at keeping out harmful sounds because they’re built from a mold of your ear. These are an excellent choice for hunters, farmers, and others who are around loud noise frequently.
Custom musicians’ earplugs. These are ideal for those who have loud professions but also need to speak to others and hear environmental sounds, for example, professional musicians and construction workers.
Earmuffs. These fit completely over the ear. Soft, padded cups are ideal for air circulation, and they’re available in foldable, easy-to-carry styles. These are recommended for young children because they’re safer and easier to use.
Combination. For added protection, use both earplugs and earmuffs.
At Winter Haven and Ridge Audiology we offer a 75 day trial, and carry all the major manufacturers. Call our office at (863) 594-1976 to schedule a complimentary hearing screening and consultation. We hope you will allow us to get you on the road to better hearing.
Winter Haven and Ridge Audiology
IAC Acoustics. Comparative Examples of Noise Levels.
http://www.industrialnoisecontrol.com/comparative-noise-examples.htm. Accessed June 11, 2018. Coppola CL, et al.
Noise in the Animal Shelter Environment: Building Design and the Effects of Daily Noise Exposure. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. 2010;9(1):1–7. ASHA.
Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure. https://www.asha. org/public/hearing/Recreational-Firearm-Noise-Exposure. Accessed June 11, 2018.