In an opinion article written for The Hill, Dr Jonathan Fielding, a professor of public health and pediatrics at University of California, Los Angeles, writes that noise is becoming the next serious public health threat, affecting both health and quality of life.

Quoting a recent article from The New YorkerFielding cites statistics from the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that indicate hearing loss as the third most common chronic condition after diabetes and cancer. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one-third of all hearing loss is noise related, and the CDC finds that nearly one in four US adults have experienced noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

In addition to the comorbidities studies show as associated with hearing loss—depression, social isolation, and lower quality of life—the percentage of young people affected by noise related to listening to loud music or video games via headphones, has grown from 11% in 1994 to 17% in 2006.

Though NIHL can be preventable, Fielding argues that the government funding to mount a public health campaign to get the word out, has not been made available. Many noise policy efforts have been transferred to state and local governments.

Fielding recommends that Congress set noise standards, such as a warning that pops up when music is being listened to at a level that could cause long-term hearing damage.

To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

Source: The Hill