It’s a Noisy World

It’s a Noisy World


Rex BanksRex Banks, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology
Director of Hearing Healthcare 

If you are concerned about hearing loss, or noise-induced hearing loss, click here to find out how Canadian Hearing Services can help and take our free online hearing test. 


Noise pollution, or unwanted sound, is a pervasive problem. What is music to one person may be noise to another. But noise pollution is more than just loud or unwanted sound. It also includes any noise that is heard continuously for ten minutes or more, or intermittently over a period of one hour or more.


We are constantly surrounded by noise pollution, which can affect us in many ways, some of which are more serious than others. These include:


Although noise-induced hearing loss is preventable, noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. Research suggests that the incidence of hearing loss is occurring at younger and younger ages. It is easy to take our hearing for granted and ignore symptoms of hearing loss, however, noise-induced hearing loss occurs gradually over time and often goes unnoticed until it’s too late.


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What can you do to prevent noise-induced hearing loss?

Remove – Reduce – Rest

The first lines of defence against hearing loss are:



Strategies for Reducing Noise

  • Reduce exposure to noisy situations whenever possible
  • Keep television and music set at a reasonable volume. Set the levels in a quiet atmosphere and don’t raise volumes to drown out background noise.
  • Wear hearing protection when using noisy equipment such as lawnmowers or leaf blowers, or when in loud environments.
  • Wear hearing protection when using lawnmowers, power tools, chainsaws and leaf or snow blowers.
  • Keep televisions and music down to a reasonable volume.
  • Buy appliances that produce less noise (check for lower decibel levels).
  • Avoid creating noise that will affect your community.


Specific Strategies for Listening Devices

  • Look for a personal listening system with an “Automatic Volume Limiter,” which limits the output of the system to safe levels.
  • Set your system at a comfortable level in a quiet room. Do not turn it up when you are in a noisy setting to “block out” the noise. This will only add to the noise and increase the risk to your hearing.
  • Limit the amount of time you use the personal listening system with headphones.
  • Choose over-the-ear headphones instead of earbuds. The smaller earbuds of headphones do generate significantly more output than larger over-the-ear headphones.
  • Stop using your personal listening device if you notice any ringing in your ears, or that speech sounds are muffled after wearing it, and have your hearing checked by an audiologist.


Warning Signs of Hearing Loss

  • A ringing or buzzing in the ears after exposure to noise.
  • A slight muffling of sounds, making it difficult to understand people once you leave a noisy area.
  • Difficulty understanding speech. You can hear the words but can’t understand all of them.


If you are concerned about hearing loss, or noise-induced hearing loss, click here to find out how Canadian Hearing Services can help and take our free online hearing test.