5 Loud Noises That Could Damage Your Hearing

This blog post has been reviewed and approved by a hearing care professional.

Noise-induced hearing loss occurs when noise causes damage to the sensitive inner ear. Sounds that are louder than 85 decibels (dB) can contribute to noise-induced hearing loss. You can learn more in our guide to the causes of hearing loss

Here are a few common things that could contribute to hearing damage due to their volume.


According to the World Health Organization, nearly 50% of people aged 12-35 years old could be exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices. At full volume most devices can reach up to 105 dB, but a safe range to maintain is around 75-80dB. 

Safety Tips:

  • Turn the volume down

  • A setting of 75 dB is recommended as a safe listening level if you can set levels on your device

  • Use the 80/20 rule when setting the volume on your device – 80% of the time your device should be at 75% loudness level or lower. You can turn up your favorite songs about 20% of the time relatively safely – just remember to turn them back down afterwards

Festivals & Concerts

Sound levels can reach above 85 dB at a concert or music festival. The closer you are to the speakers, the greater the risk of damaging your hearing. This is especially true if you are indoors vs outside.

Musicians are at higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss and should wear ear protection while on stage.

Safety Tips

  • Do not stand close to the speakers – every time you double the distance from the speakers, you will reduce the volume at your ear by 6 dB

  • Wear earplugs – we have a large variety of custom hearing protection that are made specific to your ear

  • If you are a musician, use custom-made ear monitors or protection – these have filters that attenuate sound levels but preserve music fidelity

Construction Tools

Sound levels can reach 110-140 dB when you are using equipment such as chainsaws and nail guns.

Safety Tips

  • Wear earplugs – custom earplugs are usually more comfortable increasing the chance you'll wear them and the improved fit ensures they are worn properly
Did you know that the sound of a bursting balloon at its highest level is comparable to a high-powered shotgun going off next to someone’s ear? According to a recent study published in Canadian Audiologist the noise from a balloon popping can reach up to 168 dB, and even one exposure could be potentially unsafe.
Landscaping Tools
While gardening can be a relaxing and rewarding activity, you need to be careful when using power tools. Lawn mowers, leaf-blowers, tillers, and other motorized equipment can reach sound levels of 85-100 dB. This also applies to snow blowers in the winter months. 

Safety Tips
  • Wear earplugs when using powered equipment in your garden work

Reduce Your Risk
The good news is noise-induced hearing loss is a preventable cause of hearing loss. Try to stay away from loud noises whenever possible and when you can’t, wear hearing protection like custom earplugs to protect your hearing.

You Might Be Interested In...

Can Headphones Damage Your Hearing?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 50% of people ages 12 to 35 are at risk of hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds through headphones. 

Can Allergies Cause Hearing Loss and Tinnitus?

Allergies are caused by your immune system reacting to a foreign substance in your environment. Therefore, allergies can lead to allergy-related hearing loss and tinnitus.

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