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Pause, Protect, Play


Have you ever hit the mental “pause” button while listening to music and thought, “Wow, that’s probably too loud!  Maybe I should turn it down.”?  Did you actually, then, take a moment to adjust the volume of the music to a lower, and hopefully, safer level? 

Listening to our radios at persistently loud levels is just one way we put our ears at risk for noise-induced hearing loss and/or tinnitus.  We are exposed to noise in a variety of ways – attendance at concerts and some sporting events, use of lawn care equipment and firearms, exposure to machinery or other noise sources while at work, and (yes) even while playing an instrument.

To help yourself, consider these three simple steps – PAUSE, PROTECT, PLAY


Noise is dangerous if...

  • You have to shout over background noise to be heard
  • The noise is painful to your ears
  • The noise makes your ears ring
  • You have decreased or “muffled” hearing for several hours after exposure


Protect your hearing, by...

  • Wearing hearing protection when around loud sounds - there are different types of hearing protection such as foam earplugs, earmuffs and custom hearing protection devices
  • Turning down the volume when listening to the radio, the TV, MP3 player, or anything through ear buds and headphones
  • Walking away from the noise


Once you’ve taken action to protect your hearing…

  • get back to being busy and enjoy yourself
  • encourage others to protect their hearing too

(Source: American Academy of Audiology)

"I think about this often. I always have my headphones on and somedays it hurts to listen to music. I definitely need to have less noise going through my ears each day.”

- UTK School of Music Student

This collaborative project between Audiology and Speech Pathology and UTK’s School of Music has been made possible by the generous support of the Dave Lipscomb Hearing Conservation Fund.

May 26, 2022