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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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hello Doctor :) We can all read about db safe

Answered by
Dr. Sumit Bhatti

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2572 Questions

Posted on Fri, 21 Dec 2018 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: hello Doctor :)

We can all read about db safe levels
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I have always been hearing sensitive, which meaning I have always been hearing very well also; but from time to time I have mild eustachian tube problems; which I can keep in check with steaming, nose rinse and stuff; but I think those are triggers for hearing sensitivity also.
My question is; those safe levels rules, do they also apply to hearing sensitive people ? because for me 90 db is extremely loud, but for my mom og girlfriend this is not that loud and they doesnt get scared by sudden noises like a dog bark and someone losing a glass.

I have always been careful for my hearing and try to stay away from dog barking and sudden heavy sounds; I also have custom hearing plugs when we are in traffic and so on.
Even sounds are more loud to me and more sensitive - do this rules still apply to me ?
Like is it unlikely to cause any damage for me meeting a dog barking after me for a few times with decebels from 98-105 db.
and what about losing a glass to the floor, those sounds are very uncomfortable and can have a db of around 98-103 dB.
I just want to feel more comfortable, because somehow I feel its a little bit in my head, always thinkin about hard sounds will damage my hearing, then every time I hear them they scare me somehow.
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 28 hours later
Brief Answer:
There is no reason to worry dear.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for your query.

1. A standard Pure Tone Audiogram (PTA) graph has a -10 dB marking above 0 dB. This is because some people can hear better than the average person.

2. One dB (decibel) is the minimum sound difference perceptible to the human ear. Just like pulse and blood pressure, there are normal people who can hear better or lower than the average.

3. Hence you can have better hearing than others.

4. Sometimes hyperacusis causes people to hear more than others, but it is rare.

5. Human hearing is quite resilient as the dB scale is a logarithmic scale and every 3 dB, the sound level doubles in intensity. Individuals also have varying resistance to sound-induced hearing damage.

6. Usually, short duration, normal loud sounds will not damage hearing. You can continue to use ear protection and get periodic audiograms to confirm your hearing levels. There is no cause for worry.

7. There is an acoustic reflex that helps prevent very loud noises from damaging the inner ear. An Impedance Audiogram (I/A) with acoustic reflex testing should be done.

8. You can upload your PTA and I/A reports here only.

I hope that I have answered your query. if you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee

The User accepted the expert's answer

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