Jim Vandiver, Virginia asked:
I’ve heard that tools like hammers that make short, loud noises are supposed to be more damaging to hearing than something that makes a more continuous noise. I’d just like to get some confirmation on that.
Whenever you listen to sound, the sound actually hits the eardrum. That sound is actually amplified by a series of tiny little bones in the ear called ossicles. These ossicles vibrate and stimulate the float within the cochlear which, in turn converts the sound energy into electrical energy which is perceived
Yujay, ENT registrar at Addenbrooke's Hospital
It's many years since i undertook my health and safety training, so this may be way off the mark.
There is more to the problem than pure decibels. I noticed that it is important if you are mentally prepared for the noise. If you hammer yourself you know exactly when the noise is going to occur. So it can be more disturbing (harmful?) for the person standing next to a blacksmith than for the blacksmith himself. Playing in the opera orchestra I noticed that how you react on noise (volumepeaks in the music) depends on different factors like your attitude to the noise (love it/ hate it), if you know when noise is going to happen, if you are tired, unwell etc. When playing in the operapit soundlevels sometimes exceed healthy levels, but the most disturbing thing is a sudden unprepared noise, even if it is not that loud. So I would guess that the hammer is more dangerous than the chainsaw.
There are three factors to hearing damage that others have mentioned: intensity, duration, and frequency. In general, high intensity sounds can be safe (not causing permanent hearing loss) when only exposed to in short durations (such as a hammer strike). However, even relatively "soft" sounds can produce permanent hearing loss if the exposure time is much longer. Finally, higher frequency sounds are more damaging to the ears than lower frequency sounds of the same energy (dB). Here's some info from the occupational safety and health association in the states:
I'm not sure if this is true or works but.
In-ear earphones are often turned up very loud to compensate for the absence of vibrations which the rest of the body feels with loud, live, music performances. I am waiting for someone to produce a 'sound jacket' for producing the full concert experience for the listener. It would be less intrusive than the damned sub woofers in lads' cars and they could continue to listen when not in their vehicle. Battery life could be a problem. . . . .
Everyone talkes about decebels and we do know that loud sounds can damage the hearing. But the biggest factor in todays world that is affecting damaging peoples hearing ( and this did not exsist yars ago )is the high frequencies that are produced from computer hard drives( not the fan noise) but the ultra high pitched frequencies that are produced from a disk spinning at 7000 rpm + This bombards the microscopic hairs in the ear with constant sound waves that we humans were never meant to deal with. Think about it. Nothing in nature produces damaging frequencies like this. Of coarse a dolphin and a bat only use high FR to locate but I donm't think there going to blast you with a killer sound wave. YES, computer hard drives as well as things that produce EMFs can cause stress and hearing damage. Doc, Thu, 12th Feb 2009
Nothing in nature produces damaging frequencies like this. Of coarse a dolphin and a bat only use high FR to locate but I donm't think there going to blast you with a killer sound wave. YES, computer hard drives as well as things that produce EMFs can cause stress and hearing damage.- one word about you MORON http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0263224105001132 http://www.silentpcreview.com/SPCR_HDD_Testing EMFs can cause stress and hearing damage- this only cause brain damage only in you... firstname.lastname@example.org, Sat, 20th Sep 2014