October 06, 2009

LA Times: Driving a Convertible May Cause Permanent Hearing Loss!

The LA Times published a story on Oct 6, 2009 entitled "Cruising with the top down? Cover your ears" describing research that assessed noise levels in seven different scenarios where the convertible was traveling at speeds of 50, 60 and 70 miles per hour. Researchers found that drivers were consistently exposed to noise levels between 88 and 90 decibels. Even with the windows up, the noise levels were found to be at 82 decibels.

To keep these findings in perspective, repeated exposure to noise over 85 decibels can result in permanent hearing loss.

To make things even worse, because there is surrounding noise from other vehicles especially in traffic, driving more slowly may end up being just as loud as when driving more quickly.

These findings may be a big bummer for those who love to drive convertibles, but driver beware!!! Perhaps these drivers need to wear ear plugs whenever the top is down.

Read the story here.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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