Everyday Things that Can Harm Your Hearing


You are probably aware of the most overt things that can harm your hearing such as firearms and extremely loud earphones, but there are other things in your everyday life that can also hurt your hearing. You could be harming yourself and not even realise it, for so many things are louder than you might think. The noise level of something is measured in decibels. A decibel is a quantifiable unit that measures how loud something else. Decibels range from 0-140, with higher numbers meaning louder sounds. If the decibel is more than 140, you are in instant danger of hearing loss.

Anything over 110 decibels for one minute can damage your hearing. Anything over 100 decibels for fifteen minutes can damage your hearing. A few hours of 80-85 decibels can harm your hearing. Here is where some common things rank on the decibel scale.


A lawnmower is a pretty common item. During the summer, many people operate a lawnmower every weekend or two. While the broad category of push and riding lawnmowers has engines of all different capacities, they tend to operate around 90db. The average lawnmower can damage your hearing after about an hour of continuous exposure. If you have an exceptionally loud lawnmower, such as one with a damaged exhaust can, the decibel level can be even higher. The industry leading molded earplugs can be found at zenplugs.com/molded-earplugs, and they can protect your hearing from such noise.

Snowmachines, ATVs, and Motorcycles

Snowmachines, ATVs, and motorcycles can easily reach the 120db range when you rev their engines. Such noise can damage your hearing after only a minute. This is not a huge concern since you are moving forward, reducing the amount of noise actually traveling to your ears. However, there are some scenarios in which you might want to put in earplugs when riding your motorcycle.

Jet Engine

A jet engine at takeoff can emit about 150db. If you’re inside the cabin of the airplane, the decibels are greatly reduced and you’re safe from hearing damage. However, from outside the cabin, the noise can be deafening. That’s why those on the ground wear hearing protection while they working on the tarmac.

If for any reason you find yourself near where jets are taking off or landing, you should make sure to wear some earplugs. Many people like to go to parks that are near airports to watch planes take off. That can be great fun, but be sure to protect yourself.

Power Tools

The sound of a drill or other power tools depends on the amount of power delivered to the tool and what it is cutting. For example, a power drill at full speed will emit about 90-95db of sound. That amount of noise is only safe for about an hour. However, if you are drilling into something metal, it can increase the amount of noise considerably, making it dangerous to operate for longer than a few minutes. If you are operating power tools, you should definitely wear hearing protection.

If you are doing anything remotely loud for extended periods of time, you could be damaging your hearing if you don’t have the right protection.