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J M (Mike) Nelson
Phone: 612-810-0157

Healthy Sound

Many factors affect the quality of sound in entertainment venues, and there are some simple guidelines that will help you assess sound levels. Violate these, and the hearing of those present is being damaged. Whether or not there is immediate discomfort (such as ringing that goes away in a little while) is inconsequential. Damage is cumulative. Given sufficient exposure over time, hearing problems will emerge as "noises" in the ear, permanent or recurring ringing, or loss of hearing ability.

There is a lower threshold below which no sound is detected; this is a measure of our hearing ability. There is an upper threshold at which hearing damage is permanent and at which pain is felt. Unfortunately, especially for those who ignore it, there are sound levels at which damage is irreversible and cumulative but not painful.

If sound is at a reasonable level, then conversation will be comfortable. Normal speech approaches 70 dB, speaking normally just a few inches from someone's ear provides about 80 dB of sound, and shouting in someone's ear can approach 100 dB. If you can't carry on a conversation with your companions without shouting, then the background noise is likely greater than 90 dB, and you are in a damaging environment. Dance Home Page Dance Curriculum Dance Articles

Copyright (c) 2006, J. M. Nelson. All rights reserved. Reproduction of contents prohibited without prior permission from the author.