Monster Truck Jam is on! How much noise can you handle?
You grab your tickets, pack up the lunch and snacks, hustle the kids out the door and head out to the Monster Truck Jam, but wait… what’s missing? What about packing the hearing protection?
Entering an extremely loud noise environment can not only wreck your whole day (kids covering their ears, crying and wanting to escape the noise and begging to leave early) but also negatively impact anyone’s (yours included) hearing.
The WHO (World Health Organization) states on their website that “half o
f all cases of hearing loss are avoidable through primary prevention”. They go on to state that acquired causes that may lead to hearing loss at any age can be from “excessive noise, including occupational noise such as that from machinery and explosions, and recreational noise such as that from personal audio devices, concerts, nightclubs, bars and sporting events”.
So how much noise is too much noise and how long an exposure can be too much exposure?
How can we judge for ourselves when the noise level and length of exposure could be damaging to our hearing? Studies tell us that noise levels higher than 85dBA (in a measurement unit called the A-weighted decibel (dBA)), have been shown to be a cause for concern of noise induced hearing loss. Statistics from Health Canada – Noise induced hearing Loss site are very alarming. Can you relate to being in any of these noise situations?
|Due to the noise around you:||Means the sound levels are probably:||Means you’re at significant risk of permanent hearing loss if exposed daily for:|
|someone standing a metre away has to shout to be understood||higher than 85 dBA||8 hours or more|
|someone standing 30 cm away has to shout to be understood||higher than 95 dBA||45 minutes or more|
|someone has to shout into your ear to be understood||higher than 105 dBA||5 minutes or more|
In as little as 5 minutes you can be at significant risk of permanent hearing loss!
Health Canada goes on to warn that: “The sounds around you may also pose a risk of gradual, noise-induced hearing loss if you experience either of these signs after a loud noise has stopped:”
- a temporary hearing loss – sounds seem muffled, quieter or less clear
- tinnitus – a ringing, buzzing, roaring or rushing sound in the ear, which has no source outside the ear”
So, maybe you won’t take the kids to the Monster Truck Jam but what other activities can expose you, your family and friends to sound levels above the 85dBA range? Some everyday activities such as:
- mowing the lawn, using a weed eater, table saw, chain saw or other loud mechanical device
- even driving a car on the highway with the windows open can be a source of concern.
Add up some of the noise levels you are exposed to that would be considered above the 85 dBA level and how long you are exposed to them. This will have a cumulative effect on your hearing over time.
How can you protect your hearing?
Part of the suggested preventative measures from the WHO include: “reducing exposure (both occupational and recreational) to loud sounds by raising awareness about the risks; developing and enforcing relevant legislation; and encouraging individuals to use personal protective devices such as earplugs and noise-cancelling earphones and headphones”.
Ear plugs, ear muffs and headsets can all offer some forms of mechanical protection. They are not all created with equal protection and some may protect but also exclude your ability to hear conversations or low level noise that you want or need to hear.
The dB Blocker™ Classic (Vented) from CPE is an example of how you can have your fun and protect against devastating hearing loss. Not only can you enjoy your noise filled event but with this model of hearing protection you can actually communicate better than without them! No more shouting in someone’s ear to be heard. The unique proprietary frequency-tuned filter enhances interpersonal communication. No excuses that your kids can’t hear you any more J.
So remember your hearing protection devices when you head into your noise filled fun activities.