How do I know if  noise is too loud?

A simple rule of thumb is if you have to raise your voice to speak to someone an arm’s length away it may be to0 loud.

Click here to read a short document on how to know if you’re exposed to excessive noise.

Click here for access to typical noise exposure levels of certain environments.

Why are annual hearing tests required?

Click to learn more.

How do I understand my test results?

Click here to understand how to read an audiogram.  While the site is geared for children, the information applies to anyone.  You can plot the test results from your card on any audiogram.

How do I know if my hearing protection is adequate?

The basic answer is your hearing protection should block out enough noise so that the sound levels reaching your ears are no more than 75 – 80 dbALex.  Subtract the amount of sound blocking (attenuation) that any given hearing protection is rated for from the average noise level of your environment.  Read more about it here.

Is there such a thing as too much hearing protection?

Yes!  You only need to block out sound in excess of 80-85 dbALex.   Anything that blocks sound so much that you can’t hear sound above 65 db is excessive.  While it won’t hurt you directly, it can cause the following problems.

  1. Decrease awareness to warning signals.
  2. Decrease ability to communicate thus increasing the likelihood that you will remove the hearing protection when unsafe to do so.

What’s the best type of hearing protection?

Anything that you will wear consistently!

Hearing protection should block enough sound to protect your hearing, but not so much that your awareness is overly decreased.  See above questions.