If you've ever been to a concert, you may have experienced a muffled ringing after you leave.
To compare, a whisper is about 30 dB, and a siren can be 120 dB.
Live music falls on the higher end of that gamut. The louder the sound, the higher the decibel level, but it's not like cranking a volume knob: Decibels are a logarithmic measure of sound intensity. Paring down the math, an increase of 10 dB is perceived as being twice as loud, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
That means a passing ambulance is about a trillion times more intense than the faintest sound you can hear at about 0 dB (though some people can hear even lower than that).
But you don't have to duck for cover any time you see a lawn mower: Here's a handy chart about how long you can hear everyday noises before they inflict any damage.
Loud noises have a big impact on your delicate ear mechanisms.
Over time, your ears' microscopic cells become irreversibly damaged.
Musicians are especially susceptible to prolonged noise exposure, and some celebrities have opened up about their experiences
How can you protect yourself?
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