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Now Hear This: Wind Noise Can Pose Threat to Cyclists

Prolonged exposure may lead to permanent hearing loss, researcher says

FRIDAY, Oct. 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Cyclists may be at risk of hearing loss from wind noise, researchers report.

For the study, microphones were attached to cyclists' ears to measure wind noise at various speeds. Wind noise ranged from 85 decibels at 15 mph to 120 decibels at 60 mph.

"These findings are important because noise-induced hearing loss can begin with sounds at or above 85 decibels," said study co-leader Dr. Anna Wertz. She is an otolaryngologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

How loud is that? Heavy city traffic registers 85 decibels; an ambulance siren or a clap of thunder from a nearby storm can reach 120 decibels, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

"Short-term exposure to loud sounds isn't likely to have a lasting effect on hearing, but prolonged or repeated exposure can lead to permanent damage," Wertz added in a hospital news release.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has more on noise-induced hearing loss.


SOURCE: Henry Ford Health System, news release, Sept. 21, 2016

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