When it comes to Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) it’s important to stay in the know throughout the year, but October is the official National Protect Your Hearing Month in the USA, and during that time we encourage everyone to help spread the word and promote awareness of NIHL. You can easily take part by reading up on NIHL, and inform your family, friends and colleagues about NIHL and how to prevent it.
NIHL can happen to anyone at any age, but kids are especially prone to become victims of this type of hearing loss. As adults, we’re aware of the risk of damaging our hearing but kids are often oblivious to the long-term risk of such exposure and think nothing of turning the volume way up on their devices.
NIHL can occur all at once, and it can also sneak up on you, taking years to become noticeable. The effects of noise are often underestimated because the damage takes place gradually and there are no externally visible changes, so people may lose a significant amount of hearing, before becoming aware of its presence. Therefore people often don’t appreciate the serious impact of NIHL until it’s too late.
The most important step in protecting your and your loved one’s hearing is to reduce the exposure to loud noise. Preventative action on parent’s behalf will ensure kids’ hearing is protected when they’re too young to make smart choices and protect themselves. The WHO estimates that 1.1 billion young people worldwide could be at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. Nearly half of all teenagers and young adults in middle- and high-income countries are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices. Equip your kids with a pair of headphones that limits how loud the volume can go so they can’t crank it high enough to hurt themselves. It’s one of the best ways to prevent them from hearing loss. Our volume-limiting BuddyPhones are designed to keep kids safe, but also to give parents a piece of mind, knowing they have made the right choice for their children and that they don’t have to be constantly monitoring the volume.
Help spread the word on Noise Induced Hearing Loss and how you can protect your family’s hearing using these easy steps:
Lower the volume. Set the volume on electronic devices to a safe level (sounds above 85 decibels can put you at risk for gradual hearing loss). Some music devices have the option that allows you to set a maximum volume for you and your family. You can also get volume-limiting headphones like BuddyPhones which caps the volume automatically at 85 decibels, keeping little ears safe and sound.
Move away. Put some distance between you and the noise source to reduce the impact on your ears. Don’t sit/stand right in front of concert speakers for example.
- Wear hearing protectors. Use earplugs or earmuffs if you can’t leave a noisy place. If you find yourself without access to hearing protection, cover your ears with your hands.