The World Health Organization (WHO) is promoting its “Make Listening Safe” campaign to raise awareness of recreational noise-induced hearing loss on March 3, 2015, which is International Ear Care Day. The focus of International Ear Care Day and the WHO campaign is on teenagers and young adults who frequently put their hearing at risk through exposure to noise. According to WHO, around 1.1 billion young people worldwide are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. Statistics from a 2014 WHO report show that, in middle and high-income countries, 50% are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices, and 40% are exposed to potentially damaging sound levels at clubs and bars.
The Hear the World Foundation supports WHO’s efforts to raise awareness and is drawing attention to the topics of ear care and noise-induced hearing loss with a powerful video involving international celebrity ambassadors such as Joss Stone, Kate Moss, and Christoph Waltz. The YouTube video featuring Hear the World celebrity ambassadors was created for International Ear Care Day to encourage young people to take better care of their ears by protecting their hearing.
In addition to the video from the Hear the World Foundation, the following tips are provided as part of the “Make Listening Safe” campaign, to help people protect their hearing against noise-induced hearing loss:
- Do not turn music up too loud: noise levels below 85 dB are considered safe for our hearing. If you listen to music through audio devices, do not turn it up any louder than 60% of the maximum volume.
- Listen to music through headphones that fit well and block out background noise, as this will enable you to enjoy music at a low volume even in noisy surroundings.
- Wear earplugs at concerts and clubs and in other noisy environments. They can reduce the noise level by 5 to 45 dB.
- Use smartphone apps to measure the level of background noise.
- Keeping at a sufficient distance from the source of the noise helps to prevent hearing damage.
- To give your ears a rest, make a conscious effort to take breaks from listening and turn off all noise sources.
- Have your hearing regularly checked by a hearing care professional.
Sonova supports Hear the World Foundation, joining the effort to ensure equal opportunities and a better quality of life for people with hearing loss. As a manufacturer of hearing systems, the company feels socially responsible for contributing toward a world where everyone has the chance to enjoy good hearing. The Hear the World Foundation supports disadvantaged people with hearing loss around the world and gets involved in prevention and providing information.
Sources: Hear the World Foundation, International Ear Care Day, WHO, Sonova
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