Earplugs have an image problem among young Britons. For this reason The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), London, organized a competition to devise a trendier way to protect people’s ears—and they named a winner.

As many as 90% of young people experience temporary symptoms of reduced hearing or tinnitus after an evening out. Yet, one in three young Britons between 16 and 30 years old say they would never consider using earplugs in a night club or at a concert, and only 3% use earplugs on a regular basis. Young Britons are reluctant to wear earplugs because they find them unappealing or "looking too medical."

The data on earplug attitudes are from a survey conducted by RNID. The survey results caused RNID to challenge British design students to design more appealing earplugs for young people, and almost 100 young designers accepted the challenge.

The winning design, the Ear Card, is an earplug system in a credit card-sized flat package It was designed by Chi Shing Lo, a product design student at De Montfort University, Leicester, England.

RNID is hoping the fashionable new earplug concept will change the tarnished earplug image and change attitudes and habits among young people in favor of protecting their hearing when they party, go clubbing, or attend concerts.

Sources: RNID; www.dontlosethemusic.com

[Source: hear-it]