Know Your Risk

Anyone experiencing loud sound is vulnerable to hearing loss – and if you already have a hearing loss, it is possible to acquire further hearing loss through exposure to more sound.

Everybody is exposed to sound at home, in their leisure activities and at work; the types of things you do impact your level of exposure to loud sounds and in turn your risk of having a hearing loss. It is worth remembering that damage is cumulative and is affected by how LOUD the sound is + how LONG you are exposed to it + how OFTEN you experience it, meaning that the impact is not always immediately apparent.

Who is most at risk?

Certain occupations or interests can increase your risk of acquiring a hearing loss. Some of these are obvious, such as:
• farmers who are regularly surrounded with machinery noise
• factory, mining and construction workers who are frequently surrounded by high levels of industrial noise; and
• specialist sports people, motor racers or shooters who create loud sounds themselves.

Research has shown people working in the music industry are also at a higher risk of acquiring a hearing loss – musicians themselves, as well as sound engineers and other venue/club staff. Of course the dedicated patrons are also in a higher risk group, racking up significant cumulative exposures to sound over the course of a week or month.

Reduce your risk

If you think your hearing is at risk, its worth thinking about how YOU want to to manage your exposure to sound in the future. In less regulated environments, such as nightclubs and live music venues, it’s up to individuals to look after their own hearing. Use this site to get familiar with decibels and damage and have a look at some simple actions you can take to reduce your exposure to loud sound and reduce your risk of acquiring a permanent hearing loss or tinnitus.