At Oakdale ENT, we recognize the importance of hearing protection in preventing hearing loss.  We are exposed to sounds constantly throughout our day. Many are harmless, but some, over time, can damage your hearing.

The loudness of sounds is measured in decibels (dB). Understanding decibel levels for different sounds helps you recognize when hearing protection may be in order.

What is “loud”?

Decibel Level What We Hear
10 dB Normal breathing
20 dB Rustling leaves, mosquito
30 dB Whisper
40 dB Stream, refrigerator humming
50-60 dB Quiet office
50-65 dB Normal conversation
60-65 dB Laughter
70 dB Vacuum cleaner, hair dryer
75 dB Dishwasher
78 dB Washing machine
80 dB Garbage disposal, city traffic noise
Prolonged exposure to any noise above 85 dB can cause gradual hearing loss.
84 dB Diesel truck
70-90 dB Recreational vehicle
88 dB Subway, motorcycle
85-90 dB Lawn mower
100 dB Train, garbage truck
97 dB Newspaper press
98 dB Farm tractor
Regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss.
103 dB Jet flyover at 100 feet
105 dB Snowmobile
110 dB Jackhammer, power saw, symphony orchestra
120 dB Thunderclap, discotheque/boom box
110-125 dB Stereo
110-140 dB Rock concerts
130 dB Jet takeoff, shotgun firing
145 dB Boom cars

Provided by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Hearing Protection

Oakdale ENT can help you protect your hearing with over-the-counter or custom-fit protection.

  • Expandable earplugs
  • Pre-molded earplugs
  • Earmuffs
  • Custom hearing protection devices

Hearing protection is highly recommended for anyone regularly exposed to sounds measuring 85 dB or higher. Oakdale ENT frequently provides hearing protection for musicians, hunters, and individuals who work in loud environments.

Preview the latest offerings from Westone, a leading supplier of hearing protection devices.


Ready to schedule a consultation? Contact us today.

Hearing Evaluations

How do I know if I have hearing loss?

Hearing Aids and Other Treatments

What kind of treatment options are available?