The loudest sound accurately measured by humans was caused by the explosive volcanic eruption of Indonesia's Krakatoa Island on August 27, 1883.
Krakatoa's blast registered at 173 decibels 100 miles away from the volcano – which, even at that distance, is substantially above a human's pain threshold.
This mammoth instance of noise is a rare anomaly. However, consistent exposure to everyday sounds – subways, music, sporting events, lawn mowers, traffic, vacuums, even babies crying – can slowly damage our hearing. See how these, and other common sounds, affect your hearing in the infographic below.
About 1/6 of teens and adults have hearing loss, and 12.5% of children have dulled hearing in one or both ears.
It's unrealistic to think we can sterilize these noises from our lives. But we can take steps to protect our hearing, and especially the hearing of our children and infants when possible. Many devices we use today have the ability to reach noise levels 100 times more intense than the level at which hearing damage begins. Babies and children are at a higher risk for hearing damage because their shorter ear canals amplify sounds more than an adult ear. Teach children to turn down music, move away from extremely loud sounds, and wear hearing protection to events with sustained periods of noise.
Small ears can perceive sounds to be up to 20DB louder than adults due to their shorter ear canals
The mechanics of hearing
Sound waves cause your 1 eardrum to vibrate ? this vibration travels through the 2 three small bones of your middle ear ? is converted from air vibrations into fluid vibrations within the cochlea ? the fluid of your 3 cochlea causes small hair-like projections, called stereocilia, to sway with the vibrations ? the swaying of the stereocilia sends signals to the brain which are translated into a noise.
Parent Co. partnered with Ems for Kids because they believe every parent should know what risks they’re taking.
Everyday sounds that can damage our hearing.
Everyday sounds that are fairly safe for our ears.