April 6, 2023

Survey Finds Support for Actions to Protect Hearing at Venues, Events

More than half of respondents to a survey conducted in September 2022 agreed that venues or events where amplified music is played should take at least one of the following actions: limiting sound levels, posting warning signs, and providing hearing protection when music reaches potentially hazardous levels. The survey results, which are discussed in the March 31 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), indicate that U.S. adults are generally aware of the hazards posed by high sound levels at concerts and other events and are open to protective actions, CDC explains.

The FallStyles survey, conducted Sept. 1–24, 2022, by the company Porter Novelli, aimed to assess attitudes toward hearing loss protection at events and venues among a nationally representative panel of 4,514 U.S. adults. Respondents were asked questions about sound levels at venues and events they attended primarily for the enjoyment of amplified music and rated their responses on a five-point scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” CDC’s analysis found that 54.1 percent of respondents agreed that sound levels should be limited at venues or events to reduce hearing loss, 75.4 percent agreed that venues or events should post warning signs if sound could exceed safe levels, and 61.2 percent agreed that they would wear hearing protection if provided by events or venues.

However, the MMWR’s discussion section notes that “stated intent to take protective action does not always result in the action being taken.” A previous survey by Porter Novelli found that 80 percent of respondents reported never or seldom using hearing protection at loud athletic or entertainment events. And not all respondents to the 2022 FallStyles survey expressed support for preventive actions against hearing loss at the same rates. Survey results suggest targeting efforts to raise awareness about limiting sound levels and warning signs for hearing loss toward demographic groups such as younger, Black, and Hispanic persons, CDC stated.

More information can be found in CDC’s MMWR.

Related: The March 24, 2022, SynergistNOW blog post “How Can OEHS Professionals Tune In to the Music Industry?” discusses health effects such as musculoskeletal disorders and hearing loss experienced by musicians.