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How loud is too loud?

We are constantly surrounded by sounds, and as soon as the sound reaches a volume that irritates people or even damages their health, we label these sounds as noise. The way sounds are perceived is individual, there is no fixed value for determining when a sound becomes noise. But when can we talk about noise and at what volume does the sound become critical for our hearing?

In order to compare loudness in different situations, sound (and noise) levels are expressed in decibels (dB). To find out what the sound level is in your room, you can keep the sound measure professionally or roughly estimate this level based on how well you can understand the people speaking in the room.

  • With noise up to 70 dB, it is possible to have a conversation at a normal volume.
  • At 90 dB, it is possible to hear each other with raised voices.
  • At 100 dB, you can hear each other only when shouting loudly.
  • From 105 dB onwards, it is no longer possible to understand the conversation.

Sounds up to at least 70 dBA are generally considered safe . Any sound of 85 dBA or higher that you listen to for long periods of time is likely to damage your hearing over time.

Many devices used by children today have noise levels much higher than 85 dBA. For example, music played through headphones at maximum volume is often 94-110 dBA. FYI, 110 dBA is more than 100 times more intense than 85 decibels.

Harmful effect of noise on body and soul

It's not just our hearing that suffers from noise. Even a low level of noise can cause the release of stress hormones , which leads to an increase in blood pressure. This in turn can lead to aggressive behavior and tension in interacting with other people, as well as an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) . Noise also prevents relaxation, recovery and sleep. It results in deteriorating concentration and performance, especially in children.

People who are long-term exposed to noise levels of 85 dBA or higher have a much greater risk of hearing loss . Hearing loss cannot be reversed - after damage to the sensitive hair cells, they can no longer transmit any impulses to the auditory nerve and the brain.

So that the noise in the areas where you spend most of your time does not damage your hearing and your health, have its level professionally measured , and if it turns out that the values ​​exceed the health-damaging limit, invest in soundproofing the room.

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