Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hearing Conservation ?
Protecting your hearing from potentially damaging
levels of noise.
Why should I know about Hearing
Your hearing is priceless and a noise induced
hearing loss is never reversible but,
it is stoppable.
How does the ear work ?
Sound waves enter the ear and cause the eardrum to
Vibrations pass through 3 connected bones in the middle ear.
This motion sets fluid moving in the inner ear.
Moving fluid bends thousands of hair cells that convert the vibrations into
The electrical impulses are carried to the brain by the auditory nerve.
In the brain these impulses are converted into what we "hear" as
How do loud noises damage my
Continuous loud noises or extremely loud impact
noise can damage these hair cells. Without the hair cells there is nothing that
can convert the vibrations into what we perceive as sound.
What is noise ? Unwanted sound.
When do I need to protect my
Anytime background noises keep you from hearing or
understanding normal speech from three feet away and anytime noises cause
your ears to ring.
If I wear my hearing protection
devices, HPDs, around loud noises will they keep me from losing my hearing ?
It will reduce the risk of noise induced
hearing loss to almost zero.
It I start to lose my hearing will I notice it right away ?
Generally not, it happens so gradually you probably
will not notice it until it has become extensive and by then it is too late to
get back what you have already lost.
Will all damaging noises be
No, not until it is extremely loud, 140 dB+ and by
then, damage is probably already
done. Normally, your ear will start to ring, buzz, crackle or even shut down to
warn it is being damaged.
What would be considered some loud noises and how loud are they ?
|70 dB-(10 X
louder than 60 dB)
|80 dB-(100 X
louder than 60 dB)
above this are loud
exposure is dangerous, HPDs recommended, i.e., alarm clock
|90 dB-(1000 X
louder than 60 dB)-
90 dB to 100 dB
cleaner, power equipment, general workshop, sheet metal shop, and
X louder than 60 dB) 100dB to 110 dB
locomotives, ship engine room and highways
dB-(100,000 X louder than 60 dB) 110 dB to 115 dB
textile and concrete industries, payloaders, and 410 shotgun
machineery, pneumatic drills and 12 ga. shotguns
protection recommended: mining, and chainsaws
feeling pain: airfields, jet engines, and 357 mag.
aircraft carrier, 44 mag., and rock concert
11. What is the best
type of hearing protection device, HPD, for me to wear ?
The best one is the one that you will and can
comfortably wear the entire time you are exposed and one that will get your
exposure below the 85 dB level.
12. How do I know
when I am under the 85 dB level ?
Find out the level of noise you work in, find
the NRR of the HPDs and subtract 7 from that number, then subtract that number
from your work level. Answer should be below 85.