Most common noises that can result in hearing loss.

What Counts as Excessive Noise?

Frightening fact: Hearing loss can occur after a one-time noise exposure at 120 decibels, such as gunfire, or continuous noise exposure to dangerous levels of 85 decibels or above over a prolonged period of time. It’s important to know what levels are safe in order to protect your hearing:

110-140 decibels:
Rock concert or jet engine
Firecracker
Nail gun
Ambulance siren
Chainsaw
Home stereo speakers at maximum volume

* Just 1 minute of exposure to noises at this level can result in permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institutes of Health.

85-100 decibels:
Garbage truck
Power mower
Motorcycle
Snowmobile
Jackhammer

* Continual exposure to noises in this range can cause permanent hearing loss.

“I recommend maintaining levels below 75 decibels and listening to your ears,” says Dr. Watts. “If a sound is too loud, remove yourself from the situation or put on proper hearing protection.” For reference, a normal conversation typically hits about 60 decibels.