Hearing Loss

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is hearing impairment resulting from exposure to loud sound.

People may have a loss of perception of a narrow range of frequencies, impaired cognitive perception of sound, or other impairment, including sensitivity to sound or ringing in the ears,

Hearing may deteriorate gradually from chronic and repeated noise exposure, such as loud music or background noise, or suddenly, from a short high intensity noise such as a gunshot or airhorn. In both types, loud sound overstimulates delicate hearing cells, leading to the permanent injury or death of the cells.

Once lost, hearing cannot be restored in humans.

There are a variety of prevention strategies available to avoid or reduce hearing loss. If not prevented, hearing loss can be managed through assistive devices and cognitive therapies. Prevention is the best defense against noise-induced hearing loss. The best, first option for protecting hearing is lowering the volume of sound at its source.

Secondly, limiting the time of exposure to loud noise can reduce injury. Finally, physical protection from the noise can reduce its impact. Government regulations are designed to limit occupational exposure to dangerously loud noise.

The largest burden of NIHL, has been through occupational exposures; however, noise-induced hearing loss can also be due to unsafe recreational, residential, social, and military service-related noise exposures. There is not a limited list of noise sources that can cause hearing loss. Rather, it is important to understand that exposure to excessively high decibel levels from any sound source over time, can cause hearing loss.  Wikipedia

The community of Coupeville has sustained noise levels above “community noise exposure levels” for State and National guidelines and law.

Washington State guidelines (Chapter 70.107 RCW NOISE CONTROL/WAC 173-60) state that the maximum noise in a residential setting should be no greater than 55 dBA, and between 10pm-7am the maximum noise should be reduced by 10 dBA = 45 dBA.

The JGL Acoustics study confirmed Position “5”, which was a private residence, had noise measurements of Lmax 81.1 dBA at 8:30pm; surpassing state guidelines.

JGL Acoustics noise measurements for Coupeville were: Lmax levels ranged from 119.2-113.4 dBA, and predicted Laverage over 24 hours 64.1-75.0; again over guidelines established by Washington State and the EPA.

The World Health Organization recommends no more than <30 dBA inside the bedroom for good quality sleep and no higher than<40 dBA outside the bedroom to prevent adverse health effects. Karen Bowman and Assoc., “Community Aircraft Noise – A Public Health Issue”