Noisy cicadas could cause hearing loss

Noisy cicadas could cause hearing loss (Image 1)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As the cicada invasion continues in the volunteer state, the noisy creatures are continuing to dramatically increase their noise levels, which could have an affect on a person's hearing.  

Todd Ricketts works at the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt.

He told Nashville's News 2 he is monitoring the cicadas and their volume level on the Nashville campus and he explained how the cicadas can affect a person's hearing.

On the school's campus, Rickett found the pesky creatures volume to reach levels between 83 and 88 decibels.  

“They actually are in the range where it's loud enough where we are on the border of wanting people to wear hearing protection,” Ricketts explained.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggests ear plugs for any noise that is 85 decibels or higher for a prolonged period of time.

Other examples of noises around 85 decibels include a motorcycle 25 feet away or people shouting.

“You can have hearing loss that develops later in life through noise exposure and something you can always do protect your hearing, turn things down,” Rickett explained.

The Mid-State is about four weeks into the 13-year cicada invasion. The noisy insects are expected to remain in the area through the middle of June.

Previous Stories:

  • May 23, 2011:  Too many cicadas can sicken man's best friend
  • May 11, 2011: Mid-State residents prepare to battle cicadas
  • May 10, 2011: Mid-State residents ask what to expect in cicada invasion
  • May 6, 2011: 13-year cicadas emerge in Middle Tenn.
  • March 15, 2011: 13-year cicada will soon invade Middle Tenn.
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