Your eardrums take a beating. Every day, you are listening to loud cars and trucks, television and radio, phone calls and even the occasional barking dog. Have you ever thought how loud everyday household items can be? What about environmental situations like living near an airport, or regularly traveled trucking route.
Sound is typically measured by dB or “decibel” or a unit used to measure the intensity of a sound or the power level of an electrical signal by comparing it with a given level on a logarithmic scale.
But how many decibels does it take before I start to do damage to my ears? Experts say around 80 dB can be harmful, but a lower decibel sound over an extended period of time can also cause damage. Your kitchen blender can run in excess of 80-90 dB, while a typical face to face conversation will run between 50-60 dB. When a loud motorcycle roars by that can be anywhere form 90-100 dB and a plane passing over head can also exceed 100 dB.
Loud noise is more than just a threat to your hearing and your quality of life.
New research suggests it can seriously damage your health.
Noise Pollution & Your Health
Regular exposure can increase your risk of severe stroke, according to a recent study. Researchers found that living in a city or next to a highway may increase your risk of severe stroke by 30%. Living in a quiet, more green-space area with less roads, and calmer environmental noises can reduce this risk by up to 25%.
A loud environment stimulates a part of the brain known as the amygdala, which regulates stress response. The brain reacts by increasing blood pressure and levels of a particular stress-related hormone called cortisol. When agitated, these can actually cause a host of cardiovascular issues including strokes.
As a return to normal life brings with it a return to normal noise exposure, the question is, how loud is too loud? The line where ear damage begins is traditionally believed to be between 85 and 90 dB. That’s about as loud as a gas lawn mower, blender or a blow-dryer. If you’re going to be exposed to this level of noise for extended periods, or anything louder for even a short time, you should wear some sort of ear protection. Earplugs can be found at CVS or Walgreens for just a few dollars. While they won’t provide optimum protection, some protection is better than none.
Mitigate Everyday Sounds
- Driving with the windows open may expose you to harmful levels of environmental noise
- Close your windows at home when your landscaper is cutting the grass (or edging with a weed-whacker)
- Keep your TV and radio on a lower volume, or use captions to read along with your favorite shows
No matter how you protect your hearing, protect yourself with MedGuard Alert. We provide emergency medical alert systems that allow you to connect with medical professionals from anywhere. Call today to learn more about our systems that start at just $1 a day. You may qualify for additional discounts through Medicaid.
Call today. 800-716-1433