How loud does something have to be to damage my hearing?

Sounds above 85 dB are likely to cause damage to your hearing, with sound between 120-180 dB, such as motorcycles, firearms or an explosion being extremely dangerous. Sounds less than 80 dB - even after prolonged exposure - are unlikely to do so.


What should I do if I experience any loss of hearing?

In most cases, hearing loss is very gradual, so if you are noticing a reduction in your hearing it is very important to see your GP, who will then direct you to an ear, nose and throat specialist who can determine the underlying cause. Don't worry, as most cases appear to resolve themselves spontaneously without medical intervention, however it is advisable to get checked over by a profession to make sure.


How will my hearing be tested?

A clinician will probably play sounds of different amplitudes and frequencies to determine in which range you are able to hear sounds. A reduction of 30 dB in three consecutive frequencies is classified as hearing loss.


How can I tell if a noise situation is too loud?

There are two rules: First, if you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an arm's length away, then the noise is likely to be hazardous. Second, if your ears are ringing or sounds seem dull or flat after leaving a noisy place, then you probably were exposed to hazardous noise.


How often should your hearing be tested?

Anyone regularly exposed to hazardous noise should have an annual hearing test. Also, anyone who notices a change in his/her hearing (or who develops tinnitus) should have his or her ears checked. People who have healthy ears and who are not exposed to hazardous noise should get a hearing test every three years.


Hearing test


By popular demand, I have posted a hearing test which plays a range of frequencies! Put your headphones in to see how good your hearing is at home. Try it yourself!

This hearing test is not intended to replace tests carried out by trained professionals. For recreational purposes only.

Video courtesy of YouTube


Because the site is relatively new, we would really appreciate your feedback so please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions and I will update this page to allow other visitors to get the information they're after!

Hearing tests

If you are unsure where to get a professional hearing test, you can find information here:

The National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) at https://www.hearingconservation.org.