Hearing Awareness Week, 3 – 9 March 2018
The National Foundation for the Deaf is extending World Hearing Day on 3 March 2018 in New
Zealand into a week of awareness‐raising to prevent noise‐induced hearing loss.
What is noise‐induced hearing loss?
Noise‐induced hearing loss is caused by exposure to excessive sound levels. It commonly occurs due
to repeated noise exposure over a long period of time (many years) in the workplace, or can arise
recreationally from attendance at loud concerts or use of loud power tools at home. A single event
such as an explosion can cause noise‐induced hearing loss if the intensity is loud enough. (Refer to
our Decibel Diagram, attached).
Sound pressure caused by noise destroys the delicate nerve cells in the inner ear that transmit
sound messages to the brain. The nerve cells are replaced by scar tissue which does not respond to
sound. The damage is painless but permanent. Hearing aids can be helpful but cannot restore
Noise‐induced hearing loss is preventable.
Excessive exposure to noise is a known cause of one third of hearing loss in New Zealanders. The
higher the noise level and the longer your exposure, the greater the damage done – but the good
news is that you can start preventing any further damage now.
There are three key things you can do to prevent noise‐induced hearing loss:
‐ Wear hearing protection when you are exposed to loud noise
‐ Limit the amount of time you are exposed to loud noise
‐ Turn down the volume on personal music players ‐ and headphones are preferable to
earbuds, which play the music close to your eardrum.
The National Foundation for the Deaf has downloadable posters and fact sheets FREE for anyone who wishes
to participate in raising awareness of the prevention of noise‐induced hearing loss – at any time!
Go to www.nfd.org.nz and click on the link on the home page.
The NFD posters and fact sheets include:
‐ Noise Destroys campaign poster
‐ The Decibel Diagram
‐ Protect your Hearing
WorkSafe has excellent workplace noise prevention resources on their website: www.worksafe.govt.nz
Sources: nfd.org.nz; worksafe.govt.nz; healthyhearing.com; hearingawarenessweek.org.au; restoredhearing.com
For more information
If you know you have hearing loss due to noise at work and feel you are ready to trial hearing aids please see our two information pages about hearing aids funding through ACC: