Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

What is noise-induced hearing loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss is a gradual loss of hearing typically caused by exposure to loud noise over an extended period of time.  It can also be caused by a blast noise, such as an explosion or gun fire. This type of hearing loss is sensorineural in nature and effects the high frequencies, typically between 3000 and 6000 Hz.  Initially the hearing loss may be temporary following the exposure to loud noise but it can become permanent with increased exposure to noise.  It is a preventable hearing loss if hearing protection is used.

Here are a few everyday activities that might be putting you at risk for a noise-induced hearing loss:

  • listening to music through headphones or earbuds
  • attending a rock music concert
  • mowing the lawn
  • using a table saw
  • driving a car on the highway with the windows open

All of the above activities pose a potential risk of a gradual, noise-induced hearing loss, depending on the level of the sound that you are exposed to and the duration of the exposure to that noise.

Noise-induced hearing loss and children

It is important to teach children about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss so that protecting their hearing is important to them.  Tweens and teenagers are at particular risk for hearing loss because of the use of devices like MP3 players and iPods.  The table below depicts the importance of turning the volume down!!


Hearing Impaired


What parents should know about noise-induced hearing loss.


Check out our post in the News section of this website – What’s the Harm in a Little Fun ? – for more information about noise-induced hearing loss and children.