Apple sued over claims Amber Alert permanently damaged hearing of child wearing AirPods

Bp968

Posts: 252   +180
A single instance like that is enough to cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Loud noises are no joke.


That's a bit low, I think. The zone where you should be concerned starts at around 80 decibels.

Absolutely, the problem is most people ignore the fact that frequency and duration are also vitally important. Listening to a concert for 2 hours at 110dB is quite bad for you and likely significantly worse than a few gunshots because of duration. A gunshot peaks over just a couple milliseconds. A suppressor lowers the sound but increases the duration (among other things) but for high pressure rounds (rifles, etc) its still quite loud.

So you have to take the noise level *and* duration into any recommendations. Its why OSHA adds a duration. I think once it hits 140dB OSHA says no sound over 140dB is safe at any duration since 140dB is the range where sudden accute damage can occur.
 

Bp968

Posts: 252   +180
I went to a Coldplay concert in 2008 or 2009 (back when they were still good) and it was way, way too loud, even though we were out in the grass. I stood around plugging my ears for the first while until eventually I gave up and just subjected my ears to it, either out of annoyance or concern about looking silly. That was back before I knew more about noise-induced hearing loss. I should have brought earplugs.

Another bad noise event was school "rallies", where they gathered all the students into a large echoey gym with bleachers and had them yell as loud as they could. Stupid. Thankfully I recall plugging my ears during those, being more concerned about my hearing than about looking dumb.

Then, one time when I was working at a museum, some construction-type worker(s) dropped a very large metal object onto the hard floor somewhere nearby, making a deafening sound with no warning whatsoever. I was very annoyed.
I had the same scenario at a Korn concert. Thankfully I'd been warned about the particular venue being really loud so I brought earplugs. The concert was so loud that it sounded great even *through* the earplugs. It was nuts.
 
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Dd663

Absolutely, the problem is most people ignore the fact that frequency and duration are also vitally important. Listening to a concert for 2 hours at 110dB is quite bad for you and likely significantly worse than a few gunshots because of duration. A gunshot peaks over just a couple milliseconds. A suppressor lowers the sound but increases the duration (among other things) but for high pressure rounds (rifles, etc) its still quite loud.

So you have to take the noise level *and* duration into any recommendations. Its why OSHA adds a duration. I think once it hits 140dB OSHA says no sound over 140dB is safe at any duration since 140dB is the range where sudden accute damage can occur.
Indeed, though gunshots are so loud that, in the short time your ears are exposed to them, they can do more damage than prolonged exposure to lesser loud noises. You wouldn't know it from watching movies and TV, though. They have characters obviously not wearing hearing protection firing guns in enclosed spaces without so much as a wince, much less obviously diminished hearing afterward.

I don't know enough about the numbers to be able to compute whether 2 hours at 110 dB is worse than 165 dB from a single gunshot, though.

The concert was so loud that it sounded great even *through* the earplugs. It was nuts.
Concerts really should offer complementary earplugs for all attendees. It's absurd how loud they turn up the speakers. Movie theaters can get quite loud too. Maybe I'll bring some earplugs when I go see Jurassic World this summer. I love Rexy, but I don't want to be deafened by her.
 

Bp968

Posts: 252   +180
Indeed, though gunshots are so loud that, in the short time your ears are exposed to them, they can do more damage than prolonged exposure to lesser loud noises. You wouldn't know it from watching movies and TV, though. They have characters obviously not wearing hearing protection firing guns in enclosed spaces without so much as a wince, much less obviously diminished hearing afterward.

I don't know enough about the numbers to be able to compute whether 2 hours at 110 dB is worse than 165 dB from a single gunshot, though.


Concerts really should offer complementary earplugs for all attendees. It's absurd how loud they turn up the speakers. Movie theaters can get quite loud too. Maybe I'll bring some earplugs when I go see Jurassic World this summer. I love Rexy, but I don't want to be deafened by her.

165dB is *extremely* loud. It was a guess based on the cartridge (a magnum round) but its probably a bit high at the ear (since it was a 26" bolt gun its likely closer to 150-160 at the ear).

My audiologist said long duration lower dB noise is riskier because there is no pain response. Its similar to lasers. A high power green laser (within reason) will cause less or no damage then a much much lower powered IR laser because your eyes natural protection reflexes kick in and its painful (so you avoid it). While the IR laser you could just stare at and your vision would slowly degrade (or quickly degrade, depending on intensity)The same goes for noise.

A single loud rifle shot *hurts* and makes you jump or flinch and usually causes you to do *something* to avoid it repeating. But we actively subject ourselves to very loud music willingly and for much longer durations. If a rifle is say 130dB for 2 ms each shot then I need to shoot 500 rounds to reach 1 second of exposure. While a lower dB noise might go unnoticed in a work environment for minutes or longer.

I have another example from personal experience (honestly its impressive my hearing is as excellent as it is considering). I went to an indoor skydiving place and had an earplug pop out during the flight without noticing. It was 15-20 minutes at more than 100dB im sure (your essentially jumping over an aircraft engine in a stream of 100+ mph wind so wind noise is intense). My ear was numb and ringing for *days*. I had a noticeable loss of hearing in that ear for about 4 days. I got in to see the audiologist about 2 weeks later and my ears measured fine with no residual issues. Had that ear plug falled out during a shooting match id have immediately stopped and DQed. It would have been fairly unpleasant to continue while with the skydiving I didnt even notice it missing until it was over.

Regardless, the advise is the same. Don't exposure yourself to intense sound pressures of even short durations, and just because it doesn't "hurt" doesn't mean its not causing permanent damage. I've met plenty of people with cumulative hearing damage and a only a few with acute damage (like the article is referring too) but it's a significant quality of life issue. Saying "huh?" Or "what?" All the time is embarrassing for people and can significantly impact your enjoyment of day to day life. :(

So off topic, but if your in America make sure you tell your congressmen/senators that silencers/suppressors are not the tools of assassins, their legitimate safety devices that are outright required in some european ranges to reduce noise pollution and for the safety of the range officers who work there. They should require a 200$ fee and months or years of administrative delays to buy one. Their use should be encouraged not discouraged.

There is a reason the militaries new rifle (the M5) looks like it will be issued with a standard noise suppressor equipped.
 

azicat

Posts: 105   +108
So you have to take the noise level *and* duration into any recommendations. Its why OSHA adds a duration. I think once it hits 140dB OSHA says no sound over 140dB is safe at any duration since 140dB is the range where sudden accute damage can occur.
Yup, sudden/acute vs subacute vs prolonged exposure are different things, with different outcomes.

Eardrum perforations are not permanent, and eventually heal (unless there's a chronic middle ear infection). The only way a child can perforate their eardrum with an Airpod is to turn it 180 deg and ram it down their ear canal.

Loud concerts for several hours = some reversible cochlear attenuation, and some permanent cochlear cilia damage which is cumulative.

TLDR: I very much doubt that Airpods at 100% volume for a few seconds would blow out a kid's eardum and make them permanently deaf.
 
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Dd663

165dB is *extremely* loud. It was a guess based on the cartridge (a magnum round) but its probably a bit high at the ear (since it was a 26" bolt gun its likely closer to 150-160 at the ear).

My audiologist said long duration lower dB noise is riskier because there is no pain response. Its similar to lasers. A high power green laser (within reason) will cause less or no damage then a much much lower powered IR laser because your eyes natural protection reflexes kick in and its painful (so you avoid it). While the IR laser you could just stare at and your vision would slowly degrade (or quickly degrade, depending on intensity)The same goes for noise.

A single loud rifle shot *hurts* and makes you jump or flinch and usually causes you to do *something* to avoid it repeating. But we actively subject ourselves to very loud music willingly and for much longer durations. If a rifle is say 130dB for 2 ms each shot then I need to shoot 500 rounds to reach 1 second of exposure. While a lower dB noise might go unnoticed in a work environment for minutes or longer.

I have another example from personal experience (honestly its impressive my hearing is as excellent as it is considering). I went to an indoor skydiving place and had an earplug pop out during the flight without noticing. It was 15-20 minutes at more than 100dB im sure (your essentially jumping over an aircraft engine in a stream of 100+ mph wind so wind noise is intense). My ear was numb and ringing for *days*. I had a noticeable loss of hearing in that ear for about 4 days. I got in to see the audiologist about 2 weeks later and my ears measured fine with no residual issues. Had that ear plug falled out during a shooting match id have immediately stopped and DQed. It would have been fairly unpleasant to continue while with the skydiving I didnt even notice it missing until it was over.

Regardless, the advise is the same. Don't exposure yourself to intense sound pressures of even short durations, and just because it doesn't "hurt" doesn't mean its not causing permanent damage. I've met plenty of people with cumulative hearing damage and a only a few with acute damage (like the article is referring too) but it's a significant quality of life issue. Saying "huh?" Or "what?" All the time is embarrassing for people and can significantly impact your enjoyment of day to day life. :(

So off topic, but if your in America make sure you tell your congressmen/senators that silencers/suppressors are not the tools of assassins, their legitimate safety devices that are outright required in some european ranges to reduce noise pollution and for the safety of the range officers who work there. They should require a 200$ fee and months or years of administrative delays to buy one. Their use should be encouraged not discouraged.

There is a reason the militaries new rifle (the M5) looks like it will be issued with a standard noise suppressor equipped.
Wow, it seems borderline miraculous that you're not suffering from noticeable hearing degradation and/or tinnitus after what your ears have been exposed to.

When you said "indoor skydiving place" I was quite confused at first and trying to picture some kind of miles-tall building, lol. I guess you're just free-floating over fans powerful enough to keep you aloft, then?

I do think I've had some cumulative hearing loss, though not enough to significantly affect my life beyond some mild tinnitus and maybe having to ask people to repeat themselves more often than average, though that may just be due to usually wanting to know exactly what a person said and not being satisfied with getting the gist of it (thanks to my OCD). I've also noticed that I struggle more than what seems normal to understand speech in noisy environments like a crowded restaurant, as if my brain has a harder time isolating individual sources of sound than other people.

Yeah, suppressors are good for your hearing if you like using gun ranges and stuff (from what I understand, I don't have personal experience). Maybe the politicians think they work like in the movies where it's a little barely audible "thwip" and not a still quite loud sound? Or maybe the concern is that even if suppressed gunshots are still quite loud, they might not be as easily recognizable as gunshots.