Protecting your hearing, especially at a young age, will help to ensure years of healthy ears in the long run.

Sound is measured in decibels (dB). For every six decibels, the intensity of sound doubles. If you’re in continuous sound for 8 hours, the safe level is 90 dB, about the level of a subway car passing you by. Professionals recommend that you wear ear plugs if you’re going to be exposed to noise levels above 85 dB for a prolonged period of time.

Each six decibels after 90 dB, the exposure time is cut in half. Meaning, you can safely expose your ears to 115 dB of sound for about a quarter of an hour. Loud rock concerts clock in at right around 115 dB.

To give an idea of range, 0 dB is the faintest sound that can be heard, 30 dB is soft whisper. Ear pain begins at around 125 dB and the loudest sound possible has been measured at 194 dB.

There are a surprising number of things that we encounter every day that produce enough sound to injure or damage our ears. How many of these do you come in contact with frequently?

  • City traffic from inside a car: 85 dB
  • Motorcycle or snow mobile: 100 dB
  • Power lawnmower: 107 dB
  • Power saw: 110 dB
  • Race car: 130 dB
  • Fireworks: 150 dB
  • Shotgun: 170 dB

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