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Avoid hearing loss

Protect your hearing and be listening to your favourite sounds for years

While  hearing loss  can occur at any age and particularly as you grow older, there are many ways to protect your hearing in everyday situations.

Think about turning down the volume on your stereo, TV or iPod, and wearing ear plugs or ear defenders when using noisy equipment like lawn mowers or even the household kitchen blender.

Every assault on your ear drums is effectively adding to your future potential hearing loss.

 Sounds and safe levels

Image source: http://dangerousdecibels.org/education/information-center/decibel-exposure-time-guidelines/

Recommended sound levels and time of exposure



Amount of Time

OSH regulations


8 hours (assuming you are not exposed to any other loud sounds outside this time).(8% at risk).

Stadium rugby


2 hours 30 minutes

Lawn mower


2 hours 30 minutes



37 minutes

Night club



Airplane cabin


1 minute 30 seconds

Smoke alarm


1 minute 30 seconds

Rock Concert


9 seconds

Ambulance siren


9 seconds



No safe exposure (even with hearing protection!)

To protect your hearing, remember these three words:
Walk, Block and Turn:

  • Walk away from loud sounds. Block noise by wearing earplugs or other hearing protective devices when involved in a loud activity (special earplugs and earmuffs are available at hardware and sporting goods stores).

  •  Turn the sound down on stereos and mp3 devices. Listening to an mp3 device at maximum volume (usually around 105 decibels) for more than 15 minutes per day may cause a permanent hearing loss. Know which noises can cause damage (those at or above 85 decibels.) 

  • Be alert to hazardous noise in the environment. 

  • Protect the ears of children who are too young to protect their own. 

  • Make family, friends, and colleagues aware of the hazards of noise.

  •  If you suspect hearing loss, consult an audiologist.

Adapted from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/noise-induced-hearing-loss

Images sourced from http://dangerousdecibels.org/about-us/the-solutions/

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