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Hearing Awareness 2018 - Noise Destroys!

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 normal hearing.

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 and click on the link on the home page.

Our 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:

World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year to raise awareness of how to prevent hearing loss, and promote ear and hearing care across the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) sets the base theme each year.

This year’s WHO theme is “Hear the Future”, supported by key messages that will highlight:

- The expected rise in prevalence of hearing loss globally over the coming years
- That committed efforts are required to prevent hearing loss
- The need to ensure that people with hearing loss have access to the required rehabilitation services, communication tools and resources that they require

An increasing number of charities, support organisations and research institutions around the world have embraced the World Hearing Day initiative by hosting a range of relevant activities and events in their respective countries.

Facts and key messages


- One in six New Zealanders is affected by hearing loss.

- Exposure to noise is a known cause of ONE THIRD of hearing loss.

- One of the main consequences of hearing loss is a reduced capacity to communicate.

- The level of noise at a nightclub or concert, at 100dB or over, can be as loud as, or louder, than a chainsaw – this can damage your hearing after just 15 minutes of exposure.

- Damage to hearing is cumulative. The louder the sound, the less time you can safely listen to it.

- Decibels (dB) are used to measure sound level. A small increase in decibels dramatically increases sound pressure. An 80dB sound has TEN TIMES more sound pressure than a 70dB sound, and 100 times for pressure than a 60dB sound.

For further information, please contact The National Foundation for the Deaf on (09) 307 2923, or visit

The National Foundation for the Deaf Member Organisations:

Hearing Research Foundation, Southern Hearing Charitable Trust, Hearing New Zealand, New Zealand Audiological Society, New Zealand Federation for Deaf Children, New Zealand Society of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery Inc, Pindrop Foundation, The Acoustical Society of New Zealand, Hear for Families, Hearing Therapists of New Zealand.

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