It is well known that listening to music at loud volumes is damaging to people’s hearing, but did you know how long you listen to music also affects your hearing?

The World Health Organization (WHO) – the United Nations public health arm – recommends you cut music to an hour a day. However, even an hour can be too much if the volume is too loud. The louder the noise, the shorter the amount of time you should be exposed.

According to the WHO, “some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices.” Decreasing the amount of time you are exposed to loud noises will help maintain the health of your hearing.

The WHO’s safe listening times:

85 dB – Level of noise inside a car—————-8hrs
90 dB – Lawn Mower———————-2hrs 30 mins
95 dB – Average motorcycle——————-47 mins
100 dB – Car horn or underground train—15 mins
103 dB – Bar of nightclub————————7 mins
105 dB – MP3 player at maximum vol.——–4 mins
115 dB – Loud rock concert——————–28 mins
120 dB – Siren—————————————9 secs

“Nightclubs, bars and sporting events” are other common activities/places that people participate in that place them in danger of hearing loss. People will often spend hours at a loud bar, when they should only spend 7 minutes (see above).

If you work in a noisy environment, the WHO advises using earplugs and taking listening breaks. Everyday exposure to loud noises can lead to disastrous consequences.

The WHO recommends keeping the volume on a personal audio device to 60% the maximum. Sometimes people increase the volume to counter a noisy environment. Noise-canceling headphones will allow you to block out unwanted noise and to keep the volume low.


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