Different Types of Noises that can Cause Hearing Loss

Published December 29, 2019

Hearing loss can result from one loud sound coming from a short distance. For instance, hearing explosives going off near your ear can do a lot of damage.


On the other hand, longer exposure to loud sounds in repetition can also lead to such a condition. Take, for example, working at a bar, or as an Aircraft Marshall increases the risk of hearing loss. It is why workplaces like this require their staff to wear hearing protections like what you’ll see at doctear.com that is recommended by medical professionals.

What are the Noises that can lead to Hearing Loss? 

A decibel (dB) is the measurement of a sound’s loudness. The sound of a normal conversation is approximately 60dB, which is safe for hearing. But noises that reach 85dB and above are extremely harmful to the ears, particularly when the noise is within earshot. Also, long exposure to the source of sound can lead to a damaged hearing.

To help you understand the level of noises that surrounds you, here is a summary of common noise sources including their average decibels.

  1. 30 to 60 dB

Noises such as normal breathing, the rustling of leaves, soft music, and whispering range between 10 to 30 dB. On the other hand, average home noises like a ticking watch, refrigerator hum, and air conditioner reach up to 60 decibels.

These sounds are safe to the ears. Daily exposure to it won’t lead to hearing loss.

  1. 70 to 85 dB

These sounds are not harmful; however, it can be annoying to the ears. It includes a washing machine and dishwasher, which has an approximate decibel of 70. Spaces like office and inside a car at 60mph produces noises up to 70 dB. Moreover, vacuum cleaners and an average radio sound are 75dB.

Traffic noises and a noisy restaurant have an average sound level of 80 to 85 dB.

  1. 80 to 100 dB

Although the average noise level of a gas-powered lawnmower and leaf blower is 80-85 dB, exposure to such equipment for more than two hours can lead to a damaged hearing.

Motorcycles produce 95 dB of sound. Approximately 50 minutes to this noise can cause damaged hearing. Even shouted conversation measures 95dB, which can lead to hearing problems.

An approaching subway train, car horn at 16 feet, and sporting events produce a noise of 100dB. About 15 minutes of exposure to these sounds cause hearing loss.

  1. 105 to 150 dB

The maximum volume of a personal listening device, such as a loud radio, stereo, and television has a noise of 105 to 110 Db. Moreover, nightclubs, bars, and rock concerts produce the same level of noise. Five minutes of exposure to these noises can lead to hearing loss.

Shouting in the ear measures 110dB, while standing beside, or near a siren has 120 dB which are both harmful to the ears.

Lastly, firecrackers and any explosive devices can produce sounds at 140 to 150dB. It can lead to pain and ear injury.


It is important to protect your hearing. As much as possible, avoid loud noises. If you are unable to do so because of your job, use a functional hearing protection device. You can see examples of these devices here at Doctear.com.

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