Protecting ears can help you keep your hearing in the best shape possible. Without them, noise-indeuced hearing loss could introduce challenges with too much exposure.

Which do you think is louder: a concert, a balloon popping, or a tractor engine?

Surprisingly, the answer is a balloon popping, which registers at 157 decibels for just a split second. A tractor hits around 90 decibels, and a concert can reach anywhere between 110 decibels and 120 decibels. (Source)

Noise intensity is measured in decibels (dB). When sounds exceed 85 dB, you’re at a higher risk of hearing loss if the noise continues at that level. If the sound gets louder than 85 dB, the exposure time must be reduced. For example, if you’re exposed to something like a power saw, which can reach up to 110 dB, you’d better only use it for a minute before risking hearing loss!

Sounds in the world around you can get incredibly loud, even if you don’t notice them at first. Exposure to loud noises for extended periods of time can lead to noise-induced hearing loss – one of the most common forms of hearing loss nowadays.

Remember all the fun concerts you went to back in the day, or the busy nightclubs with the music blasting, where you’d come home with ringing ears?

Thankfully, for those of us with a noise-induced hearing loss, there is an easy solution: hearing protection. Earplugs aren’t as nerdy as people crack them up to be anymore; some earplugs can be completely invisible to anyone that doesn’t know you’re wearing them!

Protecting your ears can help you keep your hearing in the best shape possible. Otherwise, noise-induced hearing loss could introduce challenges with too much exposure.

How Loud Can Things Really Get?

The main concern surrounding noise-induced hearing loss isn’t just exposure to one loud noise (like a balloon popping right next to your ear – ouch!) but exposure to loud noises that are constant over a period of time.

For example, going to a concert that lasts two or three hours at 120 dB can deliver severe damage to your ears without the proper hearing protection.

Common, everyday sounds can exceed up to 95 dB, like ambulance sirens, construction sites, and firearms. Even a blender can get loud enough to damage your hearing if you’re standing in front of it, waiting for your smoothie.

What Can I Do to Help My Hearing?

Hearing protection and professional hearing care are some of the best ways you can help combat any already existing hearing loss. With the help of hearing assessments and properly fitted hearing protection, tracking your hearing can be a breeze!

Custom ear protection can provide a safeguard from extended exposure to loud noises and protect your hearing from further damage. A full range of sound at a reduced volume means that you can still attend those wild concerts but with the relief of knowing you can avoid those ringing ears afterwards.

Taking care of your hearing and protecting your ears isn’t just something to do to avoid loud sounds; it’s an investment in your overall health for your future, too.

Hoping to Hear Better in 2024?

If you have read this far and realized that you may be able to benefit from professional hearing care, we’re here for you. We’re available from 9AM-5PM on weekdays at (206) 657-5675, and you can email us at You can also come visit us at our office.

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Lori Losey Lovato MA, FAAA, Audiologist

Lori is a lifelong resident of the Tri-Cities. She and her husband Anthony are proud to be raising their family here. She attended Washington State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences and her master’s degree in audiology.