If you answered yes to most of these questions you could be losing your hearing.
The next step is for you to have a hearing test.
One loud noise exposure can cause permanent hearing damage, resulting in a lifetime of
hearing loss, tinnitus, or hyperacusis.
Invest in quality hearing protection.
Carry earplugs and use them whenever your environment is too noisy.
If you are going to be exposed to loud noises on a constant basis, or encounter brief bursts of extreme noise (such as power tools or a gun shot), you need hearing protection.
The strength of hearing protection is shown as NRR (noise reduction rating).
The NRR indicates the average number of decibels (dB) sound will drop with hearing protection. The actual number that decibels will drop varies greatly, depending on the pitch (the highness or lowness of sound) and volume.
With filtered plugs, like the Hocks Noise Braker®, the actual amount of sound reduction increases as volume increases.
Custom ear plugs are made from an impression of an individual person's ear for an exact fit. They are made from a silicone or acrylic material. Because they are custom made to fit a specific ear, they function consistently and have a NRR of up to 31 dB.
Earmuffs are worn over the ears, and, like custom fit ear plugs, function consistently. They have a NRR of up to 30 dB, and may be worn with other ear plugs for even greater sound protection.
Disposable ear plugs are made of foam, silicone or other soft material.
When inserted into the ear canal they block out harmful sound. They can have a NRR of up to 33 decibels. The actual noise reduction varies greatly between people, depending on individual ear shape, determining how well the plug fits.
Other generic non-disposable plugs are available that are made of more durable material, and can be worn over and over again.
Hocks Noise Brakers®
Hocks Noise Brakers® do not block sound, they let it in at a reduced volume. Because Noise Brakers filter only damaging decibel levels, the NRR rating cannot be compared with solid hearing protection, which blocks both non-damaging and damaging noise levels.
Hear conversation and necessary warning sounds while protecting your hearing. The amount of sound that is filtered out depends on the volume. As the noise level increases, so does the amount of hearing protection!
The Hocks Noise Braker®, utilizing the Hocks Noise Filter®, is available as both a standard and a custom earplug.
The Hocks Noise Braker® Standard is a generic (one-size-fits-most) ear plug with a Hocks Noise Filter®. Link: Hearing Protection
The Custom Hocks Noise Braker®is a molded earplug with a Hocks Noise Filter® inserted into it. Link: Custom Hearing Protection
The Hocks Noise Braker® has an NRR of 19 dB. The actual amount of noise reduction depends on fit (in the case of Noise Braker Standards), volume, and pitch (lower sounds are not reduced as much as middle to high sounds). The louder the volume, the more noise is reduced.
Activity dB Level Typical Physical Response
Threshold of hearing 0 Not audible
Threshold of sound perception 10 Just audible
Leaves rustling; very soft music 30
Living/dining/bedroom 30 Very quiet
Light car traffic; noisy office; normal conversation 60 Speech interference
Loud conversation; roadside traffic; Restaurant; vacuum 70
Average factory 85 Annoying
Permanent damage of auditory nerves usually commences at about 90 dB
Busy city street; motorcycle; lawn mower; screaming child 90 Can damage hearing after 8 hrs exposure per day
Jet take off; train horn; jackhammer; diesel truck 100 Can damage hearing after 2 hrs exposure per day
Squealing pigs; inboard motor; typical night club 110 Maximum vocal effort; 30 min exposure per day
Amplified rock music (varies due to equipment, environment 110-130 30 - 3.75 minutes exposure per day
Heavy destruction of auditory nerves and sharp pain are not uncommon
Car horn; propeller aircraft; air-raid siren 120 7.5 minutes exposure
Military jet; shotgun; hydraulic press 130 3.75 minutes exposure per day
Gun shot; jet engine taking off 140 Danger level
Rocket launching 180 Danger
At 150+ dB: severe pain, immediate massive destruction of Auditory Nerves, and persistent ringing of the ears lasting for days is usually the result. At this level of sound it won't take much, and you won't have to worry about your hearing... you won't have any!