The Most Common Sources Of Noise and Their Decibel Levels

The human ear is highly sensitive and it catches even the smallest sounds and noises that come from the environment. But it’s not always guaranteed that the sounds we perceive are safe for our ears. 

Some sounds we are exposed to in everyday life can be deceivingly loud and cause hearing problems along the line.

There are different sources for this type of noise that comes in different decibel levels that may or may not influence hearing loss.

You should be more aware of the various noise levels that can cause hearing damage to protect your hearing. 

source of noise

But some accidents happen before we can stop them, and there is no way to prevent hearing loss.

In that case, the best course of action is to visit an audiologist that’s going to take a look at your ears, perform the necessary tests and determine what your best options are to prevent further damage.

If you already have hearing problems and failed to limit your exposure to loud noises, it might be time to get a hearing aid.

However, hearing aids are almost as sensitive as our ears and tend to malfunction.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, use the Google search query “hearing aid parts near me” and find a local provider for hearing aid solutions online. 

In this article, we will see the most common sources of noise we face every day and which decibel levels can cause damage, so make sure you read on.

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Everyday noise sources and decibels 

There are many sources of noise we can face during the day causing different levels of hearing damage. 

Very Quiet

Sounds from 10 to 20 dB are very quiet and safe for our ears. These sounds are only louder than the sound of human breathing, which is around 10 dB.

Soft Sounds

Soft sounds, as the name suggests, range between 20 to 40 dB. They won’t damage our ears, and you can be exposed to these decibels as much as you want. Some examples include:

  • A quiet room
  • Person’s whispering
  • Rustling leaves sound
  • Raining sound

Loud Sounds

Sounds between 60 to 80 dB are considered loud sounds but still not dangerous to the human hearing system. Real-life examples of loud sounds are:

  • Busy restaurant 
  • Loud radio
  • City street
  • Hairdryer 
  • Normal conversation

Very Loud Sounds

Sounds between 80 to 110 dB are very loud sounds and influence human hearing. Bear in mind that sound levels above 85 decibels are also harmful to human hearing and potentially dangerous.

Some of them are:

  • Playing music at maximum volume 
  • Power tools 
  • Alarm clocks

Painful & Dangerous Sounds

Sounds with decibel levels between 120 to 140 are very dangerous to human hearing and can cause serious hearing injuries.

Even the shortest direct exposure to such loud sounds can cause eardrum damage and instant hearing loss. Some basic examples of dangerous sounds are:

  • Aircraft taking off
  • Thunderclap
  • Jackhammer or chainsaw
  • Gunshot or rifle

How can noises cause hearing loss?

Loud noises can cause hearing loss which is a decreased ability to hear the sounds from the environment and understand other people speaking.

Hearing loss can occur when the hearing nerves that transfer the sounds to the brain stop working properly because of damage or injury.

In many cases, the hearing loss is temporary but it can easily become permanent if the proper healing is not used on time.  

When you attend loud events, such as night-out parties or music concerts, you probably notice that you can’t hear the same as before the events.

You can’t hear whispers, soft sounds, or someone’s casual whistling. This is because the hearing receptors, which bend more if the sounds are louder, have already been through a lot.

It also affects how fast you develop hearing problems, even after exposure has stopped.  

How do you prevent hearing damage from loud noises?

Here are some basic ways how to protect yourself from loud noises:

You don’t need an additional hearing gadget or device to determine if the sounds around you are loud or quiet.

If you can’t understand what other people are saying to you because of the sounds or vice versa, you are probably in a loud environment and it may damage your hearing over time.

Here are some basic ways you can protect yourself from loud noises:

  • Turn the volume down
  • Walk away from the loud noise
  • Take breaks from the noise
  • Avoid loud, noisy activities and places
  • Use hearing protection


To sum up, a decibel is a unit of measure of the intensity of acoustic pressure. Sounds with high decibel levels can damage your eardrum and cause hearing loss if you are exposed to that noise for a long time.

Be aware that loud everyday noise can cause hearing loss, so try to limit the number of concerts and parties you go to, drive with loud car radios, and be anywhere where the sound volume is at maximum.

If, unfortunately, hearing loss happens, keep in mind to search for the best hearing parts and gadgets that will help you to hear better than before.