Ever go to the movies or a rock concert and been blasted by the sound? You may not realize it while it’s happening, but ongoing exposure to loud sounds at these venues can damage your hearing.
Our ears are highly sensitive to loud noise. Even very short exposures to high-level sounds – that’s anything above 132 decibels – can cause permanent hearing loss for some people. That’s true even if it’s just a brief blast; a single gunshot or fireworks explosion can cause immediate damage to the ear.
Even lower-level sounds – around 85 decibels – can injure the ear if heard for extended periods of time. Listening to a lawn mower for eight hours a day, for example, can put a person at risk for hearing loss.
Simply put, as the sound gets louder, safe exposure times get shorter. And whether from movies or concerts, fireworks or lawn mowers, about 40 million Americans have hearing problems from loud noise exposure. The unfortunate part is that it’s all preventable.