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17 Aug 2015

Hearing is Precious and Fragile - Hearing Awareness Week 2015

headphones loud music

Keeping your hearing healthy is largely about knowing how much loud sound you’re exposed to. Most cases of deafness are caused by damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. This damage can be the result of too much noise, and it’s permanent.

Noise-related hearing loss is usually irreversible. It is important that we all take steps to prevent noise-related damage. The key to keeping your hearing intact is to avoid loud noise. The louder the sound, the less time you can safely listen to it. Just because a sound isn’t annoying doesn’t make it safe. You can lose some hearing after being exposed to loud noise for too long, for example by standing close to speakers at a nightclub. Or hearing can be damaged after a short burst of explosive noise, such as fireworks.

If you work or frequently spend time in a noisy place or listen to loud music a lot, you could be losing your hearing without even realising it. The best way to avoid developing noise-induced hearing loss is to keep away from loud noise as much as you can. You can also protect your hearing when in noise by using hearing protectors such as ear plugs.

How much noise is too much?

Here’s a guide to some typical noise levels (measured in decibels, or dB). The higher the number, the louder the noise.

Tips for safer listening

  • Use hearing protection when working with noisy equipment or working in noisy places.
  • Turn down the music, the volume of TV, mp3 players, radio etc. Use the 60:60 rule. Listen to your music at 60% of the MP3 player's maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
  • Move away from the noise source. Move away from speakers and walk away from the situation if it's too loud.

Worried about your hearing? 

During Hearing awareness week (23-29 August) Melbourne Audiology Centre is offering free hearing checks.  These hearing checks are a quick test to identify if you have a hearing loss or not.  If you do have a hearing loss a diagnostic hearing assessment will be recommended.