How loud is too loud?

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By Amanda Barbur, Doctor of Audiology; Amanda’s Family Hearing

For decades, people have been telling teens to turn down their loud music. With the advent of earbuds and headphones, many parents are wondering if their children are keeping the noise at a safe level.

As certified and licensed Doctors of Audiology, the question we are often asked is: How loud is too loud?

Generally, sounds at or above 85 decibels for prolonged periods of time can damage your hearing. To give you a reference point, that’s equivalent to a lawn mower, leaf blower or noisy restaurant. A loud sporting event can spike to 120 decibels, and an ambulance siren or gunshot can be as loud as 140 decibels. Hearing protection is strongly recommended in these situations.

There are several helpful smartphone apps that measure decibels, such as Decibel X, that can tell you exactly how loud a specific sound or environment is. If you need hearing protection but aren’t sure which kind, we can help you. The type and style you need depends on your circumstances. When you visit us, we’ll discuss your situation and recommend the appropriate type. We offer over-the-counter hearing protection as well as custom fit.

When listening to music through ear buds or headphones, a good rule of thumb is, if others can hear your music at arm’s length—or about three feet away—it’s too loud. Some brands of headphones and earbuds are manufactured not to go above safe levels. Be sure to check the product specifications, especially if you are purchasing for younger ones who may not be able to regulate the volume as well.

Don’t wait any longer to come hear with us.

Amanda’s Family Hearing is at 1701 Mentor Avenue, Suite 5, in Painesville. Financing options are available. Call 440-357-4327 or visit AmandasFamilyHearing.comfor more information.