Hearing Loss Prevention

About Hearing Loss Prevention

Noise exposure is one of the most common, and most preventable, causes of hearing loss. Hearing loss due to noise exposure can be sudden if the sound is loud enough (e.g. a shotgun at close range), but more often it is gradual due to prolonged exposure to moderately loud noises (e.g. factory machinery).




Excessive noise exposure damages the hair cells in the cochlea, causing sensorineural hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is usually permanent and cannot be treated medically or surgically. Once hair cells have been damaged, there is no way to replace or repair them. Damage to hair cells can also lead to tinnitus (ringing/buzzing in your ears).





Dangerous levels of noise can come from recreational activities such as: noisy pubs/clubs, firecrackers, concerts, firearms, mp3 players, movie theatres, sporting events, woodworking, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and loud car stereos.



Certain occupations are at particular risk for noise-related hearing loss, including: firefighters, construction workers, police officers, military personnel, factory workers, musicians, disc jockeys, and farmers. If you work in an at-risk occupation, check with your employer to ensure your hearing is protected according to national regulatory standards.