The effect of noise on hearing depends on how loud it is (sound intensity) and how long it lasts (duration). Avoiding noisy situations is the best prevention. If you can’t avoid the noise, use adequate hearing protection.

If You Need to Shout…the Sound is Too Loud

Even without a device to measure sound, you can typically tell if the noise around you is too loud. If you or others need to shout in order to be heard or cannot understand each other even at arm’s length away, the sound is too loud and may damage your hearing over time.

Turn down the volume.

Turn down the volume

5 Ways to Protect Your Hearing

  1. Turn the volume down.
  2. Walk away from the loud noise.
  3. Take
  4. breaks from the noise.
  5. Avoid loud, noisy activities and places.
  6. Use hearing protection.

Recommendations to Help Prevent Hearing Loss from Loud Noise

At Home

  • Turn down the volume of the TV, radio, or music.
  • If listening to loud music, take listening breaks to reduce your exposure.
  • Use quieter products (power tools, toys, recreational vehicles) whenever they are available. (For more, visit CDC’s Buy Quiet webpage.)
  • Reduce equipment noise by replacing worn, loose, or unbalanced machine parts. Keep equipment well lubricated and maintained.
  • Use hearing protection devices (such as earplugs and earmuffs) when you cannot avoid loud sounds.
  • Make hearing protection convenient. Stash earplugs in your car or workshop for easy access.
  • Keep children away from loud music or equipment at home.

At Public Events

  • Move or stay far away from the loudest sound-producing source—such as loudspeakers or cannons at college stadiums—especially if attending with children.
  • Limit the length of time of exposure to loud sounds.
  • Pay attention to signs and information flyers warning of possible loud noise and the use of hearing protection.
  • Bring hearing protection devices with you. Keep them in your car, pockets, or other easy to access place.


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Check out this Noise Meter: CDC Noise Meter

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