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May 22, 2018

More than 50% of Australian farmers have a hearing loss

Long-term exposure to harmful noise is the major cause of hearing loss among Australian farmers.

More than 50% of Australian farmers have a hearing loss

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

Noise, including work noise, is one of the major causes of hearing loss. Exposure to noise and high sound levels can result in a so-called noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

The best way to protect yourself against a noise-induced hearing loss is to avoid loud noise levels e.g. by using hearing protection.

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