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Author Topic: Popping Balloons Bad for You?  (Read 288 times)

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Offline matt1990

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Popping Balloons Bad for You?
« on: February 02, 2014, 01:29:11 AM »
I value my hearing and am overly protective of it. I have constant tinnitus from years in high school marching band and I dont want to make it any worse or damage it further with loud noises. Today I was at a party and some kids popped about 5 or 6 balloons. in the same room. They were the long skinny balloons which are really loud.

The irrational/hypochondria thinking - I worry because some websites say popping a balloon produces 157 decibels, which I know from research a shot gun blast makes about 150 db and a pistol is around 160 db at 3 feet. The threshold of pain starts at 130 decibels. If a balloon pop really makes 157 decibels that is more than enough to cause instantaneous permanent hearing damage just from one pop.
Other websites say a balloon pop makes only 120 decibels, which technically speaking is a lot less dangerous given the short millisecond duration of impulse noises. I just dont know which websites to believe.

The only way I can rationalize my over thinking is that people commonly pop balloons when cleaning up after birthday parties and they probably dont worry about hearing damage. Still just because people do it doesnt mean its right and wont cause their quality of life to diminish, needing a hearing aid before they get old.

I watched this video and nearly had a panic attack.

My left ear still feels stuffy. Being paranoid I'd like to know if this is anything to worry about?
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Offline Cuchculan

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Re: Popping Balloons Bad for You?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 05:42:38 AM »
Honest opinion? I seriously wouldn't believe everything you read on the net. Popping balloons isn't going to make you go deaf. It is harmless. I have no ideas who does all these studies. Man, they need to get a life and study things that would be of some use to us. I wear headphone daily with music blasting in my ears and my hearing is perfect. Been wearing headphones for years. I would consider them louder than any balloon. For noise to cause deafness it would really have to be coming at you on a regular basis. Like people in the army. Guns and the likes. A much higher sound than a balloon. More frequent too. I wouldn't be worrying that much about balloons. If that was the case they would be leaving themselves open for legal action. Because balloons don't come with a warning that they could cause deafness. Anybody could take them to court if that was the case. Don't read so much into stats. Kids will be kids with balloons. If you don't like it, get out of the room.
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The Lovable Irish Rogue

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Re: Popping Balloons Bad for You?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 06:25:01 AM »
Hmmm, that explains why my four year old is so scared of banging balloons! Honestly though, children go to parties all the time where there are balloons banging and it doesn't do them any harm. If it really caused damage then half the children would ne hearing impared by the age of five. I honestly don't think you have anything to worry about.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Popping Balloons Bad for You?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 08:12:44 AM »
Lets at least acknowledge that the 157 db number you read about isn't every ballon - it would depend on how much air is in the ballon for one thing and every balloon isn't filled to the same level so take the 157 db with a grain of salt.  Secondly, lets say for sake of example that (1) they were filled to the proper level to create 157 db and (2) hearing 5-6 of them would result in permanent hearing loss and (3) you were physically close enough to them for it to be a problem - it seems this is the scenario which is causing you anxiety.  Based on that logic, people who have heard things above 157 db  - gun shots for example - would be deaf after just a few instances but we all know that isn't the case.  I'm sure when you did your Googling you must have read the part about how its the repeated exposure to the sound which is the real problem.

When I was I kid I was playing with fireworks and had one in my hand an went to throw it, as I pulled my arm back to throw it, the firecracker went off in my hand about 2 inches from my ear.  It blew out my ear drum.  But, believe it or not, it grew back over and I have ZERO problems hearing.

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Offline marc

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Re: Popping Balloons Bad for You?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2014, 08:21:00 AM »
I am sure any loud noise in close proximity to your ear can be unpleasant or disturbing.
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