Preventive health action is the key to achieving a healthier Australia by 2030. Australians with good hearing health are better able to lead fulfilling and productive lives.
Preventing hearing loss is one of Deafness Forum Australia’s key goals. We know that prevention is the foundation of good health. So, our second goal is prevention because it is the most effective way to reduce hearing loss and tinnitus. Exposure to noise, whether prolonged or of short duration, is a major cause of approximately one-third of adult-onset hearing loss – this will be the focus of our actions. But hearing loss can also result from a range of preventable diseases, injuries, solvents, and certain medications. Almost half the incidence of induced hearing loss can be avoided and prevented.
You can read Australia’s National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030 – it provides a high-level guide to preventive health actions.
Loud sounds damage ears and can lead to persistent tinnitus and hearing loss.
Many people develop hearing loss from prolonged exposure to loud sounds. It can occur in occupational, environmental or recreational settings.
Loud sounds damage ears and can lead to persistent tinnitus and hearing loss. The more exposure to loud noise, the worse it gets. It is mostly irreversible.
This type of hearing loss – also termed “noise-induced hearing loss” – affects the perception of high-pitched sounds, leading to difficulties in speech discrimination. People with this type of hearing loss often feel they “can hear the sounds, but not understand what is being said”.
Throughout the world, nearly 50% of people aged 12–35 years of age – that’s 1.1 billion young people – are at risk of hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds, through listening to music on smartphones and audio players, or at music gigs and clubs.
Here in Australia, nearly 50% of young people are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices. Around 40% of 12–35 year-olds are exposed to damaging sound levels at clubs and bars.
Practising safe listening is one of the simplest ways to prevent hearing loss that is caused by recreational exposure to loud sounds.
- Download this series of Facebook tiles above by clicking Five social media tiles about Safe Listening Habits.
- And to go with them, here are Newsletter and web articles about Safe Listening Habits – put them on your social media, website, or newsletter. You can even personalise them by adding extra words or your logo.
Know Your Noise
Find out whether your lifestyle could be damaging your hearing health with the Noise Risk Calculator. If you think you might have hearing loss, take the Hearing Test.
National Safe Work Month in October
Some workplaces are harmful to our hearing health. Both sudden loud sounds like explosives and persistent sounds like jackhammers and blaring background music can damage a worker’s hearing.
Download infographic 1: Hazardous noise in the workplace
Download infographic 2: Noise hazards and sound levels