Alex O'Brien


Everyday sounds that could be damaging your hearing

Everyday sounds that could be damaging your hearing

The most common form of hearing loss isn’t due to ageing but from exposure to excessive loud noises. No matter how old you are protecting your ears from loud noises is the best way to ensure healthy hearing for years to come. Sounds simple enough, but do you know how loud is too loud? There are many common sounds we’re so accustomed too that can actually damage our hearing over time. In general, sounds over 85 decibels are considered too loud and can harm hearing depending on how long and how often you are exposed to them. Here are some average decibels of common everyday noises.


Rustling leaves (20 dB)

Normal conversation (50 dB)

Mild rainfall (50 dB)

Dishwashers (50 dB)

Traffic (60 dB)

Office noises (60dB)

Vacuum cleaners (65 dB)

Radio (75db)

These are damaging when listened for over 30 minutes

Heavy traffic (85 dB)

Train station (90 dB)

Lawn mowers (90 dB)

Hair dryers (90 dB)

Motor cycles (90 dB)

Listening to music players with headphones at full volume (100 dB)

Hand drill, chainsaw, leaf-blower (100 dB)

Car horns (110 dB)

Wear hearing protection or avoid

Concerts, sporting events, symphonies (120 dB)

Clap of thunder (120 dB)

Ambulance and police sirens (120 dB)

Jackhammers (130 dB)

Fireworks (140 dB)

Airplane take-off (140 dB)

Gunshot (140 – 190 dB)