Hearing protection against snoring partner

Many Danes snore so loudly that their partners must wear hearing protection to sleep.

A Danish study found snoring at sound levels as loud as 91 dB, enough to potentially damage the hearing of the snorers' partners. The study was carried out by the Danish Center for Sleep Medicine at the Glostrup Hospital on the outskirts of Copenhagen.

Many countries recognise 85dB as the maximum safe noise level. The Danish environmental laws require ear protection to be made available for people working in noise levels above 80 dB, about half the recorded maximum snoring levels. At noise levels above 85 dB in the workplace, Danish employees are required by the law to wear hearing protection.

In other words, if the workplace regulations extended to people sleeping in their bedrooms, both the loudest snorers and their partners would be required to wear hearing protection.

Another study has found a correlation between snoring and noise-induced hearing loss in those sharing the bed with loud snorers, but the effect on the hearing of the snorers, themselves, has yet to be determined.

Source: Danmarks Radio; PubMed.
Published on hear-it on January 5, 2009.

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