Learning Center

Hearing Conservation

Noise-induced hearing loss is a result of prolonged exposure to high levels of noise. Initially, damage is contained to the hearing for high pitched sounds (i.e. birds singing). Continued excessive exposure often results in decreased sensitivity to other types of sound, eventually impacting speech understanding.

Noise-induced hearing loss most often results in permanent damage which cannot be treated medically. However, one viable option is amplification. Hearing devices can provide a level of assistance to ease communication difficulties. Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. The effect is often underestimated because the damage is gradual.

Signs of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss:
• Unable to hear someone that is three feet away
• Hear people speaking, but strain to understand the words
• Pain in ears after leaving noisy areas
• Ringing or buzzing in ears after exposure to noise

Noise Levels of Everyday Sounds...



  • Wear hearing protection (foam or silicone plugs or muffs) when around loud equipment such as a lawn mower, power saw or leaf blower.
  • Limit exposure time during noisy activities.
  • Turn down the volume on your TV, iPod and personal stereo.
  • Buy quieter products for your home (compare dB ratings).
  • Check with your employer regarding federal noise regulations if you are exposed to loud noise at work.
  • Avoid medications that can be dangerous to your hearing – ask a physician about possible ototoxic effects.