Noise can be described as unwanted sound that is commonly perceived as loud, unpleasant, or disruptive. Noise can be produced from many different sources – speakers, Snow Blower, hair dryer, airplane, and so on.
Since the ear is unable to close itself off from our surroundings, it is left susceptible to such noises. Therefore, when noise reaches high levels even for a brief period of time, sensitive structures within the ear can be damaged.
Damage to these structures can cause issues such as permanent or temporary noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) and/or psychological stress.
With our Online Risk Evaluation Calculator you can calculate how much you are exposed to hazardous noise.
The most common occupational and environmental hazard is noise. Over 38 million Canadians are exposed to potentially harmful sound levels at work.
Outside of work, many people pursue activities that produce harmful sounds. In addition, five million Canadians use firearms, many of the population use power tools and amplified music, as well as recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles and motorcycles without adequate hearing protection. Children’s toys can produce sounds that can cause permanent hearing damage.
There are two ways to describe noise:
The intensity and duration of noise exposure affect the potential for damage to inner ear hair cells. Sound that seems “comfortably loud” may still damage them.
Sound levels over 85 db can damage your hearing faster. Every 3-db increase in noise levels over 85 db reduces the safe listening time in half. It is possible to listen to sounds at 85 db for up to 8 hours. If the sound reaches 88 db, it is safe to listen to the same sounds for four hours. If the sound is up to 91 db, the safe listening time is reduced to 2 hours.
Read the chart to understand, how much noise can damage your hearing:
Hearing loss commonly occurs slowly and therefore, many people do not always recognize it.
Take the following steps to protect your hearing:
Please book an appointment with our licensed hearing care professionals (Audiologists) to investigate your exposure to environmental noise, experience any symptoms of noise-induced hearing difficulties and potential hearing loss.
Also, if you have concerns and questions regarding which noise protection you would best benefit from, please reach out to Hearing Excellence.
Hearing Excellence is a full-service hearing clinic serving patients across southwest Ontario, including Downtown Toronto, Whitby, Woodbridge-Vaughan, Scarborough, Oakville, and Burlington.