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How Loud is Too Loud?

The world is a noisy place these days! Many of us are plugged into earbuds listening to music, mowing the lawn or simply walking down a busy street. These loud noises eventually add up causing damage to our ears but there are some ways you can protect yourself.  So let's give your ears a little extra help.  

Below are some of the different ways you can help protect your ears from the noisiness of life.  

  1. Use earplugs: The louder the noise and the longer you're exposed to it, the greater the chance of damaging your hearing. Wear earplugs and get away from the noise as quickly or as often as you can. If you can't leave the venue, take regular breaks. A 10-minute rest break will give your ears some time to recover.
  1. Turn down the music: Don't listen to your personal music player at very high volumes and never to drown out background noise. If the music is uncomfortable for you to listen to, or you can’t hear external sounds when you’ve got your headphones on, then it's too loud. It's also too loud if the person next to you can hear the music from your headphones.
  1. Use the 60:60 rule: To enjoy music from your MP3 player safely, listen to your music at 60% of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
  1. Wear headphones: When listening to your music on your mp3 player, choose noise-cancelling headphones, or go retro with older muff-type headphones. These block out background noise and allow you to have the volume lower.
  1. Turn down the dial: Turn down the volume on your TV, or radio. Even a small reduction in volume can make a big difference and avoid the risk of damaging your hearing. If you need to raise your voice to be heard above the sound, turn it down.
  1. Use earplugs when you’re listening to live music: They can reduce average sound levels by between 15 and 35 decibels. They’re widely available at many live music venues and shouldn’t spoil your enjoyment of the music.
  1. Don't put up with work noise: If you’re experiencing noise at work, talk to your human resources (HR) department or your manager and ask for advice on reducing the noise and getting hearing protection.
  1. Wear ear protectors: Wear ear protectors (earplugs or earmuffs) if you are using noisy equipment such as power drills, saws, sanders or lawn mowers.
  1. Be careful in the car: Listening to music in a confined space increases the risk of hearing damage. Don’t listen to music too loud for too long.
  1. Have a hearing detox: After being exposed to loud noise, your ears need a break!  You need at least 16 hours of rest for your ears to recover after spending around two hours in 100dB sound, for example in a club. Reducing this recovery time increases the risk of permanent deafness.

These are just a few ways that you can protect your hearing. Be proactive you will thank yourself later!