Live life at a healthy volume!

A drawing of a smiling woman with headphones on with sound waves shown coming from her ears.

There is no cure for hearing loss! Damaged inner ear cells (stereocilia) do not grow back. Protect your hearing by avoiding loud noise such as concerts and sporting events. Use earplugs or noise-cancelling earmuffs to protect your ears. If you already have hearing loss, take steps to keep it from getting worse. Get your hearing checked.

CDC supports Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) founded in 1927 by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

It is an annual event each May to provide an opportunity to raise awareness about hearing and speech problems, encouraging people to think about their own hearing, and to get their hearing checked if they think there might be a problem.

Early identification and intervention for hearing loss is important. Many people live with unidentified hearing loss, often failing to realize that they are missing certain sounds and words. Checking one’s hearing would be the first step towards addressing the issue.

Don't let the experience leave you with a loss - a silhouette of a man with headphones and an iPod.

Do you use your music, your show, or a podcast to shut out the noise around you? Be cautious; hearing loss is real. A volume that lets you hear someone a few feet away is a safer way to go.

Did You Know?

Repeated exposure to loud noise over the years can damage your hearing—long after exposure has stopped.

This is just one of the many informative facts available on CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health’s new hearing loss website.

Think you are well aware of how to protect yourself? When it comes to hearing loss, we can all think of the usual suspects: listening to fireworks, attending sporting events, entertainment venues, and loud concerts.

However, you may be surprised at what you do not know. For example, everyday activities such as using power tools, mowing the lawn, or attending a fitness class with loud music can damage hearing.

The site features detailed information on the following topics: “What Noises Cause Hearing Loss?” “How Does Loud Noise Cause Hearing Loss?” “How Do I Know if I Have Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise?” “How Do I Prevent Hearing Loss from Loud Noise?” and “What If I Already Have Hearing Loss?”

Browse the pages to discover critical information you are likely unaware of.

Rock and Roll is forever. Your Hearing is not. - An image of a guitar with a blackbird on it wearing headphones.

The members of your favorite band use ear protection to play, why not do the same to see them perform? Don’t let the experience leave you with a loss.

Useful Info

Is the noise too loud? If you need to shout to make yourself heard, yes.

  • After a very loud event, such as a concert or football game, normal hearing usually returns within a few hours to a few days—however, repeated exposure to loud noises will eventually damage the inner ear permanently.
  • Ways to protect your hearing include turning the volume down, of course, and also taking periodic breaks from the noise and using hearing protection, such as earplugs and hearing protection earmuffs.
  • Signs that you may have hearing loss include difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds (e.g., doorbell, telephone, alarm clock) and difficulty understanding conversations in a noisy place.

By the Numbers

Sound is measured in decibels (dB). A whisper is about 30 dB, normal conversation is about 60 dB, and a motorcycle engine is about 95 dB. Noise above 70 dB over a prolonged period of time may start to damage your hearing. Loud noise above 120 dB can cause immediate harm.

Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in the United States. Almost twice as many people report hearing loss as report diabetes or cancer. In the United States, about 40 million adults aged 20–69 years have noise-induced hearing loss, and about 1 in 4 adults who report “excellent to good” hearing already have hearing damage.

Think that hearing damage is usually workplace-related? Actually, activities away from work can damage hearing just as much as a noisy job. Over half of all adults with hearing damage do not have noisy jobs.

The average person is born with about 16,000 hair cells within their inner ear. These cells allow your brain to detect sounds.

There is no treatment for hearing loss! Damaged inner ear cells do not grow back. So, protect your hearing, and if you already have hearing loss, or are experiencing pain, discomfort, or ringing in the ears, take steps to keep it from getting worse.

Start by getting your hearing checked
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2020