Hearing Conservation

WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTHY HEARING,
PREVENTION IS STILL THE BEST CURE

Hearing can be protected from additional damage due to loud noise exposure by following the H.E.A.R. strategy:

Hold Yourself Accountable: It's all about education and action, and like most preventive health measures, you are in the best position to ensure that you practice behaviors that support healthy hearing for yourself and your family.

Evaluate Your Surroundings: In general, if you are standing three feet away from someone and cannot hear what they are saying, the noise level could be damaging to your hearing. Noise can damage hearing with long‐term exposure to sound levels at or above 85 dBA SPL (See Figure 1 below).

Avoid the Noise: The easiest way to avoid noise‐induced hearing loss is to avoid the noise. Turn down the volume on your stereo or Mp3 player, and whenever possible move away from the sources of loud noise to diffuse the overall sound intensity and thereby reducing the likelihood of damage to your inner ear.

Remember Protection: If you are not able to avoid excessive noise, muffle it. Earplugs decrease the intensity of the sound traveling to your ear drum and should be worn at all times while working near power tools, firearms, heavy machinery etc.

DECIBEL LEVELS BY ACTIVITY/EVENT

Decibel Level Activity/Event
30 dB Whisper,quiet library
50‐65 dB             Normal conversation
85 dB Lawnmower, shop tools,truck traffic
95 dB Movie in a movie theater
100 dB Farm tractor, cement mixer, snowmobile
110 dB Video arcade, chainsaw, pneumatic drill/jackhammer
115 dB Sandblasting, loud rock concert, auto horn
140 dB Gun muzzle blast, jet engine

Source: NIDCD,
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/education/teachers/common_sounds.asp