This project aims to study risk factors, prevalence and consequences of hearing loss with regard to working life. Among other, we examine hearing loss, work participation and societal costs, the effects of occupational noise exposure on hearing and tinnitus, as well as the prevalence of hearing loss in the adult population and generational changes. The project uses data from the world’s largest health survey (the HUNT study) and is carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Public Health.

The project consists of two PhD projects. The first project examines the relationship between hearing loss, work participation and societal costs. The second project study the effects of occupational noise exposure on hearing and tinnitus. We also examine various occupations to identify high risk jobs.


Our project shows that the hearing in the general population in Norway has become better during the last two decades, and that less occupational noise exposure contributes to the generational improvement. This suggests that preventive measures are successful and important and should encourage to further preventive work.

Our project also identify certain occupations that are still at risk of noise-induced hearing loss, such as frame workers and craft and related trades workers. Our project further shows that hearing impaired workers, constituting about 5.8 of Norwegian employees, are at increased risk of unemployment and lower earnings growth. This highlights the need for increased interventions for people with hearing loss in the workplace.

Two PhD degrees nearly finished, 18 publications of which 17 in international peer-reviewed journals and one anthology.

Project group

Project leader: Lisa Aarhus

Astrid Jørgensen, Ina Molaug.