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News & Highlights Occupational Health

International Noise Awareness Day

Excess noise can lead to hearing loss, but did you know that it can also result in other health issues?  Exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) for extended periods of time can increase blood pressure, cause gastric problems, and lead to cardiovascular issues. While some noise (like campus construction) may be out of your control, you do have the power to manage other sources of noise in your life, such as listening to audio through headphones, or attending loud concerts or sporting events.

On this International Noise Awareness Day, and every day, make it a goal to:

  • Keep the volume down. Try this simple test to find out if your headphone or ear bud volume is set too loud:  Adjust your headphone sound levels to your normal listening volume and hold them at arm’s length.  If you can still hear the audio coming out of the earbuds, the sound is likely contributing to hearing loss.
    Limit the amount of time you spend engaged in excessively noisy activities.
  • Take short listening breaks; turn off your headphones and listen to what’s going on around you.
  • Wear earplugs to protect your hearing if you know you’ll be in an area with lots of noise, like a concert, sporting event, or construction zone.

Remember, hearing loss is irreversible!  Be proactive and reduce the noise levels in your life.

Visit these sites for additional information:

World Health Organization, Make Listening Safe

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Loud Noise Can Cause Hearing Loss