Protect your ears, before it's too late.

Cochlear Compassion

Noise-induced hearing loss is a big issue for motorcyclists. The interior of a helmet can be an audibly offensive place: engine noise, road noise, and the sound of rushing wind combine to create a din that routinely exceeds 80 decibels, a level that experts consider “very loud” and potentially damaging. Your ears are a delicate system made up of tiny bones, fragile nerves, and microscopic hair cells, and the vibration caused by all those dB’s can be disastrous. When any of these components are damaged, the transmission of sound is permanently altered. The noise level isn’t the only issue; duration is a major factor as well. And as motorcyclists, we typically like to ride for as long as possible, making us even more susceptible to hearing loss.

Your ears aren’t the only thing that suffers. It’s well known among audiologists that high-intensity noise reduces your ability to concentrate, raises blood pressure, and causes fatigue.

Wearing ear plugs is the simplest and easiest way to prevent hearing-related problems down the road. The average pair of ear plugs reduces the clamor entering the ear by 25 – 30 dB, slashing the risk of hearing loss while simultaneously making you a calmer, more comfortable rider. All hearing protecting equipment is labeled with a NRR (Noise Reduction Rating), so look for the plugs with the highest number.

I’ve heard friends say “I don’t wear ear plugs. The noise used to bother me, but I’ve gotten used to it.” Unfortunately, you ears can’t adjust to loud noise. By the time you’ve become comfortable with the noise, it’s too late. Hearing loss is usually a slow and painless process, and once the damage is done, you’re screwed for life. So drop a set of ear plugs in your jacket pocket or tank bag, and make sure to wear them.

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