by Mary Kent Hill, Delia Hudson, and Kara VanHooser
What is “hearing conservation”?
Hearing conservation means “conserving”, or protecting, your hearing.
Why is it important?
Loud noise can damage hearing. The level of the noise as well as the length of time exposed to the the noise can cause noise-induced hearing loss. Continued exposure to noise above 85 dBA (adjusted decibels) over time will cause hearing loss. How loud are the sounds around us? Normal conversation is about 60 dBA. A food processor is about 85 dBA. An ambulance siren is about 120 dBA. For more information, see these resources about noise and environmental sounds.
How can we practice hearing conservation?
When you encounter a loud noise, take these steps to protect your hearing:
- Turn the sound down if you can.
- If you can’t do that, then walk away from the sound.
- Another option is to protect your ears with your hands, earplugs or earmuffs.
See these resources for more information about hearing conservation.
Noise. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/noise/. Accessed December 3, 2015.
FIRST YEARS – Professional Development through Distance Education. FIRST YEARS – Professional Development through Distance Education. Available at: http://www.firstyears.org/lib/banana.htm. Accessed December 3, 2015.
Dangerous Decibels – A public health partnership for prevention of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. Dangerous Decibels The Solution Comments. Available at: http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/about-us/the-solutions/. Accessed December 3, 2015.