The Ida Institute, Naerum, Denmark, has created a video and educational cartoon card targeted at young people listening to loud music. The project aims to increase awareness among teens that loud music can lead to permanent hearing loss and encourages them to turn the volume down.

Click here to view the hearing loss PSA posted on YouTube, and click here to view the downloadable cards.

A recently published study by the Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston shows that nearly one in five young people from the ages 12 to 19 have suffered a mild hearing loss. The study took place from 2005-06 and tested more than 1,800 people. Several other studies have linked personal listening devices and loud music with increased risks of hearing loss.

The Ida campaign was inspired by Deborah Von Hapsburg, an audiology professor at the University of Tennessee who worked with the Ida Institute this summer. While taking the bus in Copenhagen, she noticed a young man listening to loud music on his iPod. Since she could not communicate with him in his native Danish language, Von Hapsburg made a drawing of damaged hair cells on a notepad and gave it to him. She was pleased when the startled teen removed his ear buds after reading her note.

‘When we heard her story at lunch, it occurred to me that we all see and hear these young people listening to loud music yet we never approach them,’ said Lise Lotte Bundesen, Ida Institute’s director. “Through partnerships with audiologists and universities in our network, we aim to inspire a grassroots campaign to educate these young people. We hope everyone feels they can participate by just giving out the card, printing them as stickers, or sending a link to our video.

“We see tremendous potential for this little project to develop into a larger educational project–we hope that young people find that our message is simple and appealing,’ she added.

[Source: Ida Institute]