How loud is too loud? Long or repeated exposure to noise levels at or above 85 decibels (dB) can cause hearing loss.
As a general rule of thumb, if you have to raise your voice to be heard over the noise, it is too loud.
Examples of Dangerous noise levels:
Constant heavy traffic—85 decibels (dB)
- Can irreversibly damage hair cells in the inner ear that convert sound vibrations into nerve signals that travel to the brain
Loud music—110-120 dB
- Whether at a concert or via headphones, the noise levels of music can be similar to that of power tools & heavy machinery
Shotgun fire—greater than 150 dB
- Unprotected exposure to sudden, very loud sounds can lead to instantaneous, permanent hearing damage
Federal regulations govern allowable noise levels in the workplace, as well as the employer’s role in providing hearing protection. Find more information at CCOHS.
If you are regularly exposed to noise in your leisure activities or at work, contact us for advice on the latest custom fitted earplugs and hearing protection methods.
In addition to using ear protection, those who are regularly exposed to noise should get a hearing test to see if the effects of hearing damage are already present.