Hearing loss question...

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Justin_D, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. Justin_D

    Justin_D Stunt Coordinator

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    What are the "safe levels," "danger zones," etc?

    I'm finding it hard to find a reliable, non-biased source of this info, and I still like hearing things.

    I usually listen to music at ~85dB constant, peaks in movies probably 90-95 tops.

    I'm pretty young, but I don't wanna go messing myself up while the dawn of HT passes me by!
     
  2. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    What?
     
  3. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Justin has raised a good and wise topic. Hearing loss is an issue these days, and I cringe at every thread posted in the hardware sections about receivers shutting down and subwoofers blowing when the user cranks up his system tot eardrum-shattering levels.

    I used to review rock & roll bands. Some of the bands would play so loud in club environments that I felt nauseated and endured physical fatigue -- and put up with ringing sounds for two or three days. That is not good.

    Prolonged exposure to 95 dB-plus SPLs causes permanent damage. In the press room at the newspaper for which I work, all the crew is required to wear sound-muffling "headphones." And the SPLs when the presses are running are not as loud as some rock & roll shows I've seen.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Justin,

    The ear’s hearing abilities will erode over time – it’s natural. This is true even if you are careful to protect your ears, avoid noisy environments, etc. Of course, caution should insure that over time your hearing will not deteriorate as badly as people who are more caviler, but hearing loss is to be expected.

    I reviewed the OSHA information a few years ago when I was doing some research on this subject, and I thought their guidelines for hearing protection in noisy work environments were extremely lax insufficient. I can’t imagine working all day in a steady 85dB environment and not need or use hearing protection.

    Surprisingly, even things you wouldn’t even expect can cause hearing loss. For instance, I used to ride motorcycles when I was in high school, and I remember reading an article about hearing loss in one of the motorcycle magazines. They said that if you had a half-hour or so commuted to work at freeway speeds on your motorcycle, and you didn’t use earplugs, you would sustain a measurable hearing loss within a year.

    This came as a shock to me, as I never considered the wind noise to be excessively loud. So I imagine the same would be true if you drive in a car with your windows rolled down. Ever since then I’ve been really conscious of noise. For instance, I think lawnmowers and other lawn equipment are too laud.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    I never really thought about wind noise while riding. Or even in a car for that matter. I am not sure what the actual dBs are, it would be interesting to find out.

    Most lawn and garden equipment would fall into the too loud for x amount of time. The people that I know doing that type of work for a living always wear earplugs or muffs.
     
  7. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Speaking of wind noise on motorcycles...When will science create the motorcycle helmet with built-in noise-reducing headphone technology. I wanna use my iPod on the highway damnit!
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Then it would be inappropriate to mention what may well be the ultimate subwoofer (taken out of context of course) wherein J. K. Hilliard, "High-Power, Low Frequency Loudspeakers," J. Audio Eng. Soc., 1965 July. This dealt with the design of a horn type loudspeaker to be used for evalutating atmospheric transmission characteristics prior to testing Saturn V engines in Huntsville, Alabama. They'd place the speaker on the engine stand and then run some microphones in downtown Huntsville where they'd check the SPL's. If they were low enough, they'd run the rocket engine test.
    Now it wasn't as powerful as the Saturn which outputted 6,000,000 watts of power. The Saturn had a peak around 10 Hz with an SPL of ~140 dB 1.6 kM away and ~100 dB 30 kM away. The test speaker was ONLY capable of 100 kW of acoustic output. Such speakers are used to test metal fatigue.
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    back to sub evaluations... You are so right Chu Gai, NASA has put out Apollo mission DVD's, the take off sequences are hell on the LFE to say the least.
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    As for the wind thing, yes a lot of truck drivers go deaf in their left ear from driving with the windows down.
     
  11. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    I can believe that.
     
  12. John S

    John S Producer

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    I have slammed my ears for decades with loud music, and they still test way above average.

    I must admit, that except for a few times as a teen, for the most part all of this real loud live music I have subjected my ears to, has been very very clean, by rock act standards anyways.


    Maybe the type of loud noise has some bearing on it as well.
     

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