Be aware of loud environmental noise
New York City is easily one of the noisiest places in the country, with crowd, traffic and subway noise exposing residents to decibel levels that can damage hearing over time. Research has shown that noise levels in the city often reach higher than 70 decibels, which is the sound of a normal conversation at 3-5 feet. A subway train at 200 feet is 95 decibels, and an emergency vehicle siren could be more than 110 decibels. When exposed to particularly loud noises like sirens, its a good idea to cover the closest exposed ear, but the temporary exposure probably wont damage your hearing, Dr. Alexiades says. On the other hand, if youre going someplace where you know youll be bombarded with loud noise for an extended period of time, such as a concert or a wedding reception, bring earplugs, he says.