Extremely loud noises can cause permanent damage to the tiny hair cells inside the cochlea. Even moderately loud noise over a period of time can be damaging. But just how loud is loud? Studies show that prolonged exposure to sounds at or above 90dB can damage hearing. Protect your hearing and wear earplugs when exposed to loud noise.

To view a chart that graphically illustrates some common noises and their respective dB levels click here.


Protect your hearing whenever your surroundings are so loud you must raise your voice to be heard. It doesn’t matter what the source of the loud sounds are – music (radios, live music, and headphones), machinery, conversation (bar or restaurant). If it’s too loud for you to hear yourself, the sound is potentially damaging to your hearing. If you can’t avoid the situation, wear ear plugs.

Mention any ringing or buzzing in your ears or in your head to your doctor.
Ears are self-cleaning. Normal bathing is all most people have to do to keep their ears clean and healthy.

If ear wax does need to be “cleaned out” only a qualified professional should do so.
Any sudden change in hearing should be reported to your doctor.

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