“As they go about their daily lives doing what they enjoy, more and more young people are placing themselves at risk of hearing loss”, says Dr. Etienne Krug, the WHO’s director for injury prevention.
The organization estimates in a report that nearly 50% of all people aged 12 to 35 who live in middle- and high-income countries are exposed to unsafe levels of noise from the use of personal audio devices. Furthermore, another 40% are exposed to potentially damaging levels of noise at concert venues, night clubs etc.
Your hearing won’t come back
Analysis from the US suggests that between 1994 and 2006, the prevalence of hearing loss among teenagers rose from 3.5% to 5.3%. WHO expects this rise to continue in the coming years.
Dr. Etienne Krug states that these people will incur irreversible damage to their hearing.
“They should be aware that once you lose your hearing, it won’t come back. Taking simple preventive actions will allow people to continue to enjoy themselves without putting their hearing at risk”, Krug says.
How to make listening safe
WHO consider a volume above 85 decibels for eight hours or 100 decibels for 15 minutes as unsafe. To counter the risk, the WHO recommends that young people keep the volume down on their personal audio devices, wear earplugs when visiting noisy venues and use carefully fitted and noise-cancelling headphones.
Furthermore, WHO recommends that the daily use of personal audio devices should not be used for more than an hour a day at a reduced sound level.
Read the entire report here