Woman putting earplugs into ear - close up

You’re probably so accustomed to the dull roar of traffic and construction that you don’t even notice it anymore. What’s the problem? It’s just noise, right?


It’s noise pollution, and it affects approximately 30 million Americans every day. It’s defined as sounds or noises that disrupt hearing and overall health.

Sources Of Noise Pollution

Noise pollution isn’t restricted to the hustle and bustle outside. Any sound over 85 decibels can damage your hearing, and you probably encounter more than you realize. Check out the decibel levels of these common sources of noise pollution.

At home:

  • Garbage disposal: 70 to 95 decibels
  • Vacuum: 75 decibels
  • Blender: 80 to 90 decibels
  • Hairdryer: 80 to 90 decibels

At work:

  • Passing motorcycle: 90 decibels
  • Factory machinery: 100 decibels
  • Subway: 90 to 115 decibels

At play:

  • Noisy restaurants: 85 decibels
  • Concert: 110 to 120 decibels
  • Car stereo: 125 decibels

So, if we’re always at risk, what can we do to protect ourselves?

Be Smart, Be Proactive

Prolonged, unprotected exposure to noise pollution puts you at risk for permanent hearing loss, especially as you get older. It can also lead to high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, loss of concentration, sleep deprivation, tinnitus, and emotional stress.

Try these tricks to reduce noise pollution:

  • Survey your surroundings: Note your daily routines and identify the sources of noise pollution. You can adjust your habits once you know where you’re most at risk.
  • Wear hearing protection: Earplugs and noise-canceling headphones will protect your ears from ambient noise even if you don’t work in a noisy environment.
  • Visit an audiologist: Get a baseline for your hearing health and discuss hearing protection options.
  • Turn down the volume: Whether it’s the TV, radio, or headphones, practice dialing the volume down regularly.
  • Download an app: There are several varieties of noise detecting apps for smartphones that can help you monitor your daily noise intake.

At Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte, you’ll receive personalized care that will keep your ears protected from daily noise exposure. Call 704-412-7975 or contact us online to learn more about our services.

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