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How Loud Noise Can Affect Your Wellbeing


There’s a limit to how much noise you can take. If you expose yourself to high noise level for a long time, you will risk damaging your hearing. Hearing loss does not always happen in a split second. It sometimes happens gradually. So, you may not at all notice that you are damaging your hearing. If you like going to clubs with loud music or wearing your headphones at full volume, then you have a reason to be alarmed.


How Loud is Loud Noise

You can get hearing loss from a single loud sound like a firecracker near your ear. More often, however, it happens over time through repeated exposure. The louder the noise is, the faster you will lose your hearing. The longer your exposure to loud noise is, the greater risk you’re facing. So when do you know that you are still safe?


According to the Noise Dose Formula, the least hearing risk is the exposure to 85 decibels for at most 8 hours a day. If you are listening to 88 decibels, you should limit your exposure to 4 hours. If you are listening to 91 decibels, your ears can only tolerate the sound for two hours. If the noise is at 100 decibels, hearing damage can happen within 15 minutes. At 140 decibels, immediate damage can occur.


What is the Loudest Recorded Sound

A motorcycle from 25 ft away emits 90 decibels sound. A thunder creates 120 decibels sound. The third loudest sound ever recorded by humans is the Krakatoa volcano eruption. It reached 172 decibels. It’s so loud that it caused spikes in atmospheric pressure in England, Toronto, and St.Petersburg. These places are at least 100 miles away from the volcano. The second loudest sound comes from the sperm whale, and the first is from the Saturn V Rocket. According to NASA, the rocket produced 204 decibels sound.


How You Lose Hearing

Hearing loss decreases your ability to hear and understand speech and sound. It happens when the nerves that carry sound information from the ear to the brain stop working. Sometimes, the damage is temporary. Sometimes, it is permanent.


Loud noise is particularly harmful to the inner ear or cochlea and hair cells. The hair cells within the cochlea help the brain detect sound. When hair cells get destroyed, they can rarely be repaired. Destruction of the hair cells can’t be detected unless at least 30% of them are already damaged


The cumulative effect of noise will affect how well you will hear later in your life and how quickly you will develop hearing problems.


Signs You Are Suffering From Hearing Loss

There are tell-tale signs of hearing loss. These include: (1) hearing muffled sound; (2) difficulty in hearing high-pitched sounds like the doorbell; (3) difficulty to understand speech in a noisy place or over the phone; (4) turning up the volume of the speaker; (5) ringing in the ears; and (6) hypersensitivity.


If you think that you are showing early signs of hearing loss, it’s best that you have the doctor examine you right away. Don’t wait for your condition to get worse.


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