Loud Music and Leisure Noise Is a Common Cause of Chronic Hearing Loss, Tinnitus and Hyperacusis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 16;18(8):4236. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18084236.


High sound levels capable of permanently damaging the ear are experienced not only in factories and war zones but in concert halls, nightclubs, sports stadiums, and many other leisure environments. This review summarizes evidence that loud music and other forms of "leisure noise" are common causes of noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus, and hyperacusis, even if audiometric thresholds initially remain within clinically normal limits. Given the huge global burden of preventable noise-induced hearing loss, noise limits should be adopted in a much broader range of settings, and education to promote hearing conservation should be a higher public health priority.

Keywords: hearing loss; hyperacusis; music; noise; tinnitus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced* / epidemiology
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperacusis / epidemiology
  • Hyperacusis / etiology
  • Leisure Activities
  • Music*
  • Noise / adverse effects
  • Tinnitus* / epidemiology
  • Tinnitus* / etiology