Have you ever been at a concert and had your ears ring afterward? Do you like to listen to your music player so loud that it tunes out the rest of the world? Have people asked you to turn down your music, even when you’re wearing earbuds? If so, you should pay careful attention. You could be permanently damaging your hearing because of loud music.
Over 1 Billion at Risk
Over a billion teens — that’s one seventh of the entire population of the world — are at risk of suffering irrevocable hearing loss due to the booming base and pumping rhythms they love so much, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The worst part of it is, most of these people consider the levels at which they listen to music to be perfectly normal. But when you’re shouting to your friends across the table at a bar or club, or can’t hear someone talking to you over your headphones, you may have a problem.
A recent WHO study showed that almost half of all 12- to 35-year-old people in more affluent countries engage in listening practices at unsafe sound levels. In addition, nearly 40% are exposed to harmful noise levels at bars, clubs, concerts and similar venues.
You Can’t Go Back
What many young people do not realize is that damaged hearing does not recover. Once you suffer from hearing loss, you never get it back. Constant and repeated exposure to high levels of noise can also result in conditions like tinnitus, a permanent and sometimes agonizing ringing in the ears.
However, when your ears ring, don’t think that when the ringing stops your hearing is fine. Ringing in the ears means you have suffered permanent loss of hearing.
Make Listening Safe
WHO has now launched a new program called the Make Listening Safe Initiative. The campaign focuses on a multipronged approach to hearing loss. On one hand, it is targeting manufacturers and encouraging them to create audio safety features on their devices, to protect listeners’ hearing.
On the other hand, the program seeks to educate listeners on how to properly use their listening devices. In addition, the organization is calling upon world governments to create and enforce new legislation regarding recreational noise levels.
In the end, each person has a responsibility to protect their own hearing, however, and we shouldn’t need to rely upon governments to legislate our health and safety. Taking precautions to defend your hearing is very simple if you follow a few basic guidelines:
- Never raise your volume above 60%
- Wear headphones or noise-canceling earbuds
- Give your ears a rest; only listen for an hour at a time
- Wear noise-dampening earplugs or noise filters at loud venues
- Monitor your volume with a smartphone listening app
It also never hurts to have your hearing examined by a qualified ENT doctor. For more information about hearing loss related to noise, or if you need an ear examination in the Atlanta area, give us a call today. We are here to help!