More than one in two farmers will suffer premature hearing loss according to research published by National Rural Health Alliance in Australia. Information provided by Farmsafe Australia suggests that premature hearing loss numbers could be as high as two-thirds of farmers.
Exposure to noise
Audiologist Chelsea Scott said in relation to the figures that farmers are at a higher risk of premature hearing loss compared to other professions because of their long-term exposure to harmful noise levels.
"Tractors, workshop machinery, firearms and livestock noise are some of the most common causes of premature hearing loss," she said.
Around 15% of people living outside major cities have hearing disorders compared to 12% living within Australia's capitals, according to the National Rural Health Alliance report.
The National Rural Health Alliance also says that only 18% of Australian farmers wear hearing protection.
Noise cause hearing loss
The best way to protect yourself against a noise-induced hearing loss is to avoid loud noise levels e.g. by using hearing protection.