URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/noise.html

Noise

Summary

Noise is all around you, from televisions and radios to lawn mowers and washing machines. Normally, you hear these sounds at safe levels that don't affect hearing. But sounds that are too loud or loud sounds over a long time are harmful. They can damage sensitive structures of the inner ear and cause noise-induced hearing loss.

More than 30 million Americans are exposed to hazardous sound levels on a regular basis. Hazardous sound levels are louder than 80 decibels. That's not as loud as traffic on a busy street. Listening to loud music, especially on headphones, is a common cause of noise-induced hearing loss. You can protect your hearing by

  • Keeping the volume down when listening to music
  • Wearing earplugs when using loud equipment

NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

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