Staefa, Switzerland, March 3, 2015
“Make Listening Safe” – with this slogan, the World Health Organization (WHO) is raising awareness of recreational noise-induced hearing loss on International Ear Care Day (March 3, 2015). The focus of this campaign is on teenagers and young adults who frequently put their hearing at risk through exposure to noise: according to current WHO figures, around 1.1 billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. In middle and high-income countries, 50 percent* are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices and 40 percent* 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 this critical topic with a powerful spot involving celebrity ambassadors such as Joss Stone, Kate Moss, and Christoph Waltz.
The aim of the spot, which is available to view here is to appeal to as many teenagers and young adults as possible to protect their hearing, because many are unaware that noise-induced hearing loss is irreversible.
The following tips on protecting one’s hearing against noise-induced hearing loss are part of the campaign message:
- 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 percent 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.
*Teenagers and young adults aged 12 to 35