- 230 dB – Sperm whale
- 180 dB – Rocket launch
- 120 dB – Fireworks
- 110 dB – Live gig
- 100 dB - Night club
- 97 dB – Fire alarm
- 94 dB – Lawnmower
- 88 dB – Heavy traffic
- 85 dB – Food blender
- 75 dB – Hoovering
Gemma Twitchen Senior Audiologist at Action on Hearing Loss explained: "Every day we expose our ears to heavy traffic, kitchen appliances and live music, but most people do not know what is deemed safe and what can be potentially damaging to your hearing.
Loudness of a sound is measured in decibels (dB) and experts agree that exposure to noise at or above 85 dB can damage hearing over time. Safe listening levels also depend on how loud, long and frequent the exposure - the louder the sound, the less the exposure time should be.
While you are unlikely to come across a rocket launch or sperm whale, people will almost certainly be attending firework displays on Bonfire Night this November 5. As a firework display averages around a staggering 120dB, this means that just a few seconds of standing too close to fireworks can potentially cause permanent hearing damage, such as noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus."
There are some simple steps we can take to protect our hearing from the cacophony of fireworks, such as:
- Keep a good distance from the source of the noise – such as fireworks or speaker systems.
- Take regular breaks to limit the time exposed to the loud noise – limiting the time exposed to the noise will reduce the risk of permanent damage.
- Wear noise-cancelling earplugs to cancel out the dangerous sound frequencies – these earplugs protect your hearing without reducing the sound quality (plus they’re invisible and reusable!)
- Ensure that children use ear defenders - ear defenders are comfortable and avoid the fuss of children inserting and removing earplugs
- Stay hydrated – dehydration can make the hair cells in your inner ear more vulnerable to damage so make sure to drink plenty of water.
Noise-cancelling earplugs and child ear defenders are available to buy via the Action on Hearing Loss website: https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/shop/hearing-protection/
For media enquiries and comments, please contact Lily Lloyd at Action on Hearing Loss: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0203 227 6034.
Notes to editor
- Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) is the national charity helping people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose.
- Listen to this stimulation to hear what tinnitus sounds like: https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/hearing-health/tinnitus/
- For more information on decibels, please visit https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/live-well/our-community/our-blog/know-your-decibels/
- For more information and support, visit our Tinnitus forum, download our free tinnitus factsheets or contact our Tinnitus Helpline using this link https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/hearing-health/tinnitus/
- For further information about Action on Hearing Loss or to become a member, visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk, contact the Action on Hearing Loss Information Line on 0808 808 0123 (freephone) or 0808 808 9000 (textphone) or email: email@example.com