Rustling leaves, the cracking of bonfires … the sounds of autumn are what make the season so enchanting. Fall is also a time for very loud sounds and noises that can impact your hearing.
Noise induced hearing loss occurs when listening to loud sounds over 85 decibels over an extended period of time. The louder the decibel level the less time you can listen safely. Listening to anything over 85 decibels will begin to damage your hearing after listening for eight hours. 100 decibels will cause damage after 15 minutes. Anything over 115 decibels will cause immediate damage.
Here are some of the sounds of fall and their decibel levels to be aware of.
Football game: 80-90 decibels (We bet it gets a bit louder in Memorial Stadium.)
Leaf Blower: 102 decibels
Chainsaws/woodchippers: 100-110 decibels
Rifle hunting: 150 decibels – can cause immediate damage to your hearing.
Noise induced hearing loss is cumulative. A little bit here. A little bit there. Over time, it can make a difference. Once hearing loss is present, permanent damage has likely occurred.
The good news is that there is hearing protection that can be worn to prevent some of this damage from happening. Inexpensive foam ear plugs will reduce some of the damage. Custom ear protection, however, will do a more efficient job and allow you to hear conversation and other sounds that you want to hear.
Talk to your audiologist about ways to protect your hearing and what products are right for you and your lifestyle. Protect yourself, protect your hearing, and protect the sounds of fall.