How Loud Is a Firecracker Really?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Jodi, Jun 27, 2016.

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    1. Jodi
      Confused

      Jodi Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
      Hi!

      Yesterday someone threw a firecracker like 5-6 meters from me. Scared the hell out of me of course. (I have bad/loud tinnitus since years, so I´m quite jumpy.)

      I was on my way to a nightclub, but of course I instead went home to rest my ears.

      Now, I can´t hear any difference, I think, in T-levels. It´s now about 24 H since exposure.

      Hopefully, there are no (perceivable) changes in character or loudness.

      But, I know this sort of impossible to answer, but how loud is a firecracker? I read 120 dB to 145 dB. Guess bigger fireworks are louder, but usually explodes farther away from people. So maybe the smaller ones are around 120-130 dB?

      I´d guess my general over-sensitivity to loud sounds, in particular sudden bangs, and also my sort of phobic relationship to loud sounds makes me experience this event as more serious than it hopefully is?

      Right after the bang, I still had no louder T and no muffled hearing or similar changes...
       
    2. Jodi
      Confused

      Jodi Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
    3. Jodi
      Confused

      Jodi Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
      My calculations says that a 139 dB bang, lasting for 0.117 seconds, should be "ok" according to above mentioned scale.
       
    4. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      I think most European firecrackers have classes, I read somewhere that class 2 (usually green thin ones) one are 120dB @ 8 meters (the safety distance) and class 1 (red fat ones) are supposed to be 120 db @ 15 meters. The latter are the really loud ones. I guess there are also some illegal ones that are possibly even louder. So if were 5-6 meters away that's 120-130dB give or take, depending on the type of firecracker.
       
    5. Julien87
      Balanced

      Julien87 Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud sound (concert)
      Well.. this is not an "exact science". Impulsive noises above 120 db can permanently damage your ears, regardless of their duration. They don't systematically do it, they just can.
       
    6. Jodi
      Confused

      Jodi Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
      Yes. I guess what keeps me calm is that I did´nt notice any changes as of yet.

      This opposed to when my T first appeared 16 years ago, from a firecracker exploding very close to me, like 0.5 meters. That time my ears were crackeling/tingling when people tried to talk to me... Horrible. This time, nothing so far.
       
    7. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      I think you should be fine, even thought it was loud, you seemed to be a safe distance away, 5-6 meters is less than you think so it was possibly a bit further away. And 0.5 meters is basically right near your feet, if you extend your arm that's about 70 cm so less than that. And you have to calculate the distance to the ear as well, so even 0.5m away is still about your height away from your ear, like 1.7-1.9 meters away. Guns are more dangerous in this regard because they're as loud and also louder than fireworks and the end of the barrel is basically just an arm's length away from your ear.
       
    8. Jodi
      Confused

      Jodi Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
      Yes, I think a lot about guns and the US, like, more people should have T from guns, and firecrackers... I know I was born with more sensitive ears than say, a general population. But still...
       
    9. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Depends on the size of the firecracker, I imagine.
      I think that sometimes, those of us with T can get a little caught up in exactly HOW loud something is. Is it 120db? 130db? Does it really matter? Both are really, really loud.
       
    10. Jodi
      Confused

      Jodi Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
      True. Well, I guess it matters for us; trying to make choices regarding protection, exposure, and dealing with the fact that what we perceive as very loud, possibly maybe is not that loud, even though still quite risky, since most of us probably have:

      1. A bit more sensitive hearing cells than others, in general.
      2. Hyper acusis
      3. A phobia-like fear of loud sounds, or more specifically the risk of more injury/more T.
       
    11. Jodi
      Confused

      Jodi Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
    12. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      Was it the football fans that threw the firecracker or just some random savages?
       
    13. Jodi
      Confused

      Jodi Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
      Random I think.
       
    14. Ears Hurt

      Ears Hurt Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Whiplash or Buzzer (abuse from ex)
      This makes me nervous with the upcoming holiday in America. The dreaded 4th of July. I hate fireworks now.
       
    15. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      I would love it to be just a single day like you guys have. Here in Europe especially in some countries they start in the middle of November and it lasts through the whole of December and part of January. And you never know when or where it comes from.
       
    16. Jodi
      Confused

      Jodi Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
      Yeah... Maybe use 9F-plugs when worried? Cuts off 6 dB, not much but... And then use -30 dB plugs when the risk is really high.
       
    17. Ears Hurt

      Ears Hurt Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Whiplash or Buzzer (abuse from ex)
      I guess I should count my blessings. They used to be illegal for private citizens to set them off in my state; however, it has changed the past few years.
       
    18. Ears Hurt

      Ears Hurt Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Whiplash or Buzzer (abuse from ex)
      I have my custom plugs ready for use. I got all the filters with my, so I have the 9, 15, and 25 along with the solid cap.
       
    19. Jodi
      Confused

      Jodi Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
      BTW, I see some talk about steroid-treatment after exposure to lound sound. Any experience? Is it proven to make a difference? Is it done in Germany?
       
    20. Lauren Morse
      Cowabunga

      Lauren Morse Member

      Location:
      Salt Lake City
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma/Migraines
      I was exposed to a small string of Chinese firecrackers which set off all my ear problems of the present; someone also through them right in front of me :/ (I really think firecrackers should be banned personally). They were around 120 db, or that is my estimate on the basis that I had no pain in my ears. Larger kinds of firecrackers I imagine are much louder.

      My advice to you is to stay away from firecrackers for all eternity, albeit I realize this was an accident that you could not control. Or wear double ear protection (muffs AND plugs) if you cannot resist shooting some off at some point, and stay far away from them. They are incredibly dangerous for the ears and can easily cause permanent ear damage.

      If you have just loud T and no fullness or a muffled feeling in your ears, I will fortunately say that your ears are likely to recover from this accident in a few days/weeks; it may just be a spike, and the ears can be resistant to a single impulse noise like that. Just take it easy and don't deliberately expose yourself to really loud noises (clubs, concerts, more fireworks) for a couple of weeks. Taking multivitamins and N-acetyl cysteine may also help your ears recover faster.

      Hope you start feeling better swiftly.
       

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