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SERTOMA SAFEEARS© . . . to hear the future
An estimated 30 million Americans are regularly exposed to noise that can result in preventable hearing loss, and 10 million Americans have permanently damaged their hearing. Many everyday activities are more harmful to our hearing than most people realize. How do we know when a noise is so loud it’s harmful? What can we do to protect our hearing and keep our ears safe? Find out by reviewing these hearing facts presented by Brainerd Area Sertoma Club as part of their commitment to the SAFEEARS project.

 

HEARING FACTS
Did you know?
Hearing is a series of events in which the ear converts sound waves into electrical signals and causes nerve impulses to be sent to the brain—where they are interpreted as sound.Sound waves reach the middle ear where they cause the eardrum to vibrate. The vibrations move through fluid in the snail-shaped part of the inner ear (cochlea) that contains hair cells, which initiates the changes that lead to the production of the nerve impulses.These nerve impulses are carried to the brain where they are interpreted as sound. Different sounds move the hair cells in different ways, thus allowing the brain to distinguish among various sounds such as different vowel and consonant sounds.What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?
When an individual is exposed to harmful sounds—sounds that are too loud or loud sounds over a long period of time—sensitive structures of the ear can be damaged, causing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Noise-induced hearing loss can result from one-time exposure to a loud sound or from repeated exposure to harmful sounds over an extended period of time.An estimated 30 million Americans are regularly exposed to noise that can result in hearing loss, and 10 million Americans have permanently damaged their hearing.
How Loud is Too Loud?
The pressure of sound is measured in decibels (dB). The decibel measure was developed to compare sound intensities.The loudness of sound is measured in decibel units. Sound levels louder than 85 dB can damage the ears.
The decibel table shows some common sounds and how they rank in potential harm to hearing:
DecibelsSound
150 dBFirecrackers
145 dB Boom Cars
110-140 dB Rock Concerts (varies)
140-170 dBFirearms
140 dB Jet Engines (near)
120 dB Discotheque/Boom Box/Thunder Clap (near)
110 dBPower Saw or Chain Saw
110-125 dBStereo (over 100 watts)
105 dB Snowmobile
90 dB Lawn Mower, Motorcycle, Food Blender
80-85 dBCity Traffic Noise
75-80 dB Dishwasher, Washing Machine
70 dBVacuum Cleaner, Hair Dryer
60 dBNormal Conversation
40 dB Refrigerator Humming
30 dBWhispered Voice


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is Too Loud” Bookmark


How Can I Prevent NIHL?

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is 100 percent preventable.
• Be aware. Be cautious. And be well informed!
• Consider these three things about sound:
1. How loud.
2. How long.
3. How close.
• Respond to loud sounds:
Turn down the volume. Use hearing protection and/or walk away.

Looking for more information about SAFEEars or Noise-Induced Hearing Loss at home? Contact our Club President.

Purchasing hearing protection can help keep your ears safe. Follow this link if you’d like to shop for hearing protection online.