You can be both the cause and the victim of noise. Noise-induced hearing loss is cumulative over one's lifespan. To avoid noise-induced hearing loss, pay attention to the noises around you, turn down the volume whenever possible, and don't honk your horn unnecessarily. Often, by the time you realize you are losing your hearing, it's too late—What?

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  1. Only use your horn when it is reasonably necessary to ensure the safe operation of your vehicle.
  2. Don't use your horn to let someone know you're angry, to tell people you're waiting outside to pick them up, to say good-bye, and/or as a way of protesting.
  3. Be aware of other loud sounds to which you may be exposed. Either change your exposure or buy earplugs.
  4. Get your hearing checked.


  • Noise is among the most pervasive pollutants today.
  • 28 million people in the U.S. have impaired hearing caused by noise.
  • Hearing loss is occurring at younger and younger ages.
  • Overexposure to noise can cause increased heart rate, respiration, sweating, headaches, stress, high blood pressure, and sleep loss.
  • The law states that a driver of a motor vehicle, when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation, shall give audible warning with their horn. The law prohibits the use of horns for any other reason, except as part of an alarm system.
  • Sound is measured by decibals (dBA). Common sounds include normal conversation (60 dBA), a noisy restaurant (85 dBA), a car horn (110 dBA), and a jackhammer (130 dBA).
  • At 110 dBA, the maximum exposure time is 1 minute and 29 seconds before damage could occur.
  • Noise-induced hearing loss, though preventable, is permanent.

More Ways to Make Your Mondays Matter
Excerpted from: Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza. Copyright © 2008 Every Monday Matters LLC. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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