Top 10 Things That Cause Hearing Loss

There are things known to damage our ears leading to hearing loss. Hearing loss is serious, yet can be irreversible & ruin many things in life. Including many things on Earth. Things on this list are generalized & it’s a community as more items need to be added soon & others need to with their thoughts.
The Top Ten
1 Meteorite Impact

Asteroids & comets can sometimes hit us & some are larger than Everest & hit us with such force that aside from all the destructive danger they pose (such as mega tsunamis, firestorms, mega volcanoes and dust-induced ice ages) they would also affect the atmosphere which means extreme shock waves & even on the other side of Earth (if you survived during them) you would get more than major hearing loss or ruptured eardrums. Yet some sounds are enough to permanently deafen you & rupture your eardrums. An impact like what killed off the dinosaurs was more than enough to wipe out your hearing, it wiped out nearly all life on Earth according to scientists. Yet even the fragment over Chelyabinsk Russia on February 15th 2013 blew up with 200 kilotons which meant 255 dB from the source & 180 dB from the ground which was enough to damage 7,200 buildings & injure 1,491 people. Thankfully nobody was killed though people got severe burns, cuts & of course permanent & total hearing damage.


2 Earthquakes

Earthquakes are known to deliver more force than any bomb ever detonated & based on scientific measurements, a 5 on the Richter scale measures 235.16 dB at the epicenter & 8.7 was like 296 dB which’s enough to move our ground up & down by ~13’. A magnitude of 9+ will flatten cities (as did to Tohoku Japan on March 19th 2011). It takes at least 85 dB to cause hearing loss at any point. Though deaths from earthquakes are usually from damaged buildings & tsunamis.

3 Bombs

Bombs were made for defense & known to be powerful as atomic bonds split. The Hiroshima bomb was said to be powerful enough to not only damage hearing 24 miles away but also destroy the city of Hiroshima in just seconds. All 300K people were killed. Yet the largest bomb of all (Tsar Bomba or King of the Bombs from Russia) was 50 MT (megatons) which indicated 282 dB from the epicenter of the blast, which formed a shock wave that circled Earth.

4 Volcanoes

Volcanoes are known to form from tectonic activity & some eruptions are so powerful that they damage cities. For example, on August 27th, 1883, Krakatoa (in Indonesia) erupted with such powerful explosions that they were heard ~3,100 miles away & Perth in Australia was within that radius & people there mistook it for gunfire. Yet 165 km away barometers measured it to be 172 dB (which was more than enough to shatter glass & obviously cause hearing loss to anybody yet indicates 310 dB at its epicenter) & those 46 km away had their eardrums ruptured by the blasts. In addition the eruptions created a ~130’ tsunami that was the main cause of its death toll which was at least 36,417 human lives. Yet shock waves echoed around Earth 4 times for nearly a week. Yet Mt. St. Helens blew up on May 18th, 1980 & destroyed 200 homes along with 47 bridges & 15 miles of railways yet windows of buildings 200 miles away were blown out (indicating 163 dB from there & 286 dB from the epicenter). 57 ...more

5 Airplanes

They use hundreds of thousands of lbs of thrust to fly into the air. In fact a regular commercial plane is 140 dB at 32 meters & the airport marshalls deal with unbearable noise even at such distance with strong hearing protection. They’re much louder when closer as anything making noise sounds louder the closer you are. A jet engine measured 164 dB on the inside.

6 Whales

Whales make sounds or communicate & defend yet thankfully they’re underwater (which absorbs sound) as they’re known to clock in at ridiculously high dB ratings that would deafen you. The blue whale was 188 dB & the sperm whale was a whopping 230 dB.

7 Pistol Shrimp

Pistol shrimps use their claws to break the sound barrier by closing their claws & create cavitation air bubbles. They collapse faster than sound making sonic booms registering 218 dB, which’s not only enough to deafen you but also kill you. They kill others for defense.

8 Alarms

Alarms help alert people of danger (whether by smoke, fire or burglary). That means sounds that would damage your hearing & some alarms put out frequencies our ears are sensitive to. A common home smoke detector puts out 85 dB at 1 meter, a public fire alarm puts out 95 dB at 1 meter (at 2 kHz) & some alarms are sold with 125 or more dB which would certainly damage your hearing almost instantly. Alarms are made for safety but hearing loss isn’t safe.

9 Rockets

Rockets are known to be loud as the enough energy’s required to lift them off. Yet space rockets are especially off the charts when it comes to machinery as they can pull off 200+ dB. In fact the Saturn V test engine pulled off 204 dB when NASA measured it. They’re so loud they can engulf anything & anyone miles away with their indescribable power & ceiling tiles in the press room fell when the Saturn V lifted off with Apollo 4. Thankfully nobody was killed but it sure cost the locals their hearing & regular heart rates.

10 Balloons

Balloons pop with such loud sound as to scare not only children but adults alike. Yet how loud they pop depends on the type & how they’re popped. A typical 9” balloon pops at 151 dB from puncturing, 157 dB from compression & 168 dB from over inflation, all meaning balloons are among the most common causes of hearing loss. Yet games that involve popping balloons are extremely dangerous for your hearing after all. Too bad they violated the O.S.H.A. CDC & W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm) noise safety laws. 120 dB is all it takes to damage your hearing almost instantaneously & 140 dB or greater will do so permanently at that rate.

The Contenders
11 Babies

Babies are known to cry a lot & with loud dB ratings of 110 dB though the voice travels away from their ears but the mother’s at the most risk of hearing loss which kicks in at just 1 minute.

12 Guns

Gunshots vary depending on type of gun, but they usually put off 133 dB at 1 meter & some like a 12 gauge shotgun out off 164 dB & some even 170 or 180+. Yet those hunting or practicing targets routinely fire their guns, damaging each bit of their hearing they have left.

13 Concerts

They’re known to put out decibels loud enough to damage your hearing shortly (unless it’s a jazz or new age concert which your ears can survive in for much longer). A symphony orchestra can put out 100+ dB depending on type & music & rock concerts are even louder, registering 108 to 114 dB on average from the front row seats. Some rock concerts were said to put out 120 dB or more from such seats. KISS once performed at 136 dB which causes noise complaints & the WHO put out 126 dB 32 meters away from the stage during 1 of their gigs (which indicated 156 dB at the front row). Remember it doesn’t take long to lose your hearing at most concerts as 100 dB will damage your hearing in just 15 minutes, 110 will damage your hearing in just 1 minute, 114 dB will damage it in less than half a minute, 120 dB will damage it in no more than seconds if not immediately. Now who would even think about BTS concerts? As you know it takes at least 120 dB to put you in pain at a low frequency but as ...more

Thank god covid came.

14 Chainsaws

They’re used almost all the time & they usually measure 110 dB 1 meter away. If you’re someone who regularly cuts down limbs with a chainsaw then you’re very prone to hearing loss without any protection. Hearing damage kicks in at just 1 minute.

15 Factories

Factories are known for noisy machinery putting out dB levels loud enough to damage hearing over time & people work there every day which damages hearing. Yet a steel mill puts out 110 dB which damages hearing in 1 minute & oxygen torches are 121 dB which damage hearing in just seconds.

16 Fireworks

Fireworks are explosives which are loud & they usually put out 165 to 170 dB. What you see at firework shows are usually displayed at a distance for safety (including prevention of burns) but still pack a punch & the grand finales could knock the wind out of you. At Epcot at Walt Disney World, the finale on New Year’s Day was said to be heard 4 miles away & was enough to wake up the animals at Animal Kingdom. Safety is important even for children & children were at Epcot & hearing loss is a safety hazard even Disney fears. Some of the shows in Dubai & Japan were shows where h e double hockey sticks broke loose though even the biggest of fireworks to celebrate with don’t hold a candle to space rockets along with especially atomic or nuclear bombs (which destroy cities).

17 Motorcycles

They’re known to put out 95 dB 2.5 meters away & 102 dB at less than 1 meter distance. Some are louder though & others are quieter.

thank godness we have sidewalks and car protection! and also that they go very fast.

18 Race Cars

They’re known to be loud enough for anyone at any seat to get hearing damage in just seconds. Plus a formula 1 puts out 162 dB meters away. They can be heard for many miles.

19 Movie Theaters

Movies are meant to give guests a fun time with entertainment, but even regular theaters are known to have dB levels that cause hearing damage. A regular theater is 85 dB during a movie but thank goodness the movies aren’t even 8 hours at most times as that’s how long it takes for anyone to lose their hearing at that level. Now IMAX movies are much louder & lead to hearing damage in just minutes though they still don’t do justice for giving guests the most immersive experience of recreating explosions as those would not only damage your ears but also kill you.

Movie theaters KILLING me?

20 Nightclubs

Nightclubs are said to be fun but loud enough to damage hearing & they can put off 100+ dB & some are even louder. Everyone wants to have fun but fun doesn’t come without safety. 100 dB damages hearing in just 15 minutes & at a club people don’t realize that until it’s too late.

21 Sandblasters

Known for blasting sand off & giving products a certain finish, the machinery used for such is loud enough to damage hearing in less than a minute, meaning hearing loss comes before your 1st minute is up. They’re 115 dB at 1 meter.

22 Pneumatic Riveters

They’re known to put out 125 dB which’s past the pain threshold for many people & that means permanent hearing damage as well.

23 Sporting Events

Many sporting events take place either at gyms or stadiums & they can be anywhere from 100 to 105 dB at gymnasiums though at some stadiums they can exceed that which means hearing damage in much less time. Now remember the crowd at the Kansas arrowheads stadium on September 29th 2014.

24 Speakers

Some speakers like loudspeakers at concerts & movie theaters are dangerously loud. Yet some cdd sets have built-in stereo speakers capable of producing deafening sounds. The loudest was 181.6 dB.

25 Howler Monkeys

They’re known to emit 140 dB with their voices which will instantly cause hearing damage to anyone nearby. They can be heard 3 miles away.

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