According to the Government of Canada, noise-induced hearing loss is caused by overexposure to loud sounds. In some cases, the damage is only temporary. However, repeated exposure to excessive noise for long periods of time can cause permanent damage. So can a single exposure to an intense sound close to the ear, like a gunshot. Until recently, noise-induced hearing loss was linked mainly to excessive noise in the workplace. Some newer studies suggest that many teenagers and young adults have experienced permanent hearing loss caused by over-exposure to loud noise from a variety of everyday activities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of developing hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices and exposure to damaging levels of sound in noisy entertainment venues. Under the theme “Make Listening Safe”, WHO draws attention to the rising problem of noise-induced hearing loss due to recreational exposure to loud sounds.
Did you know…
- 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes
- 1.1 billion young people (aged between 12–35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings
- 50% of young people between 12-35 listen to unsafe levels of sound through personal audio device
- 40% of young people between 12-35 are exposed to damaging levels of sounds at sporting events, nightclubs, and bars
What can you do?
- START talking about NIHL
- Put up awareness posters and pamphlets in your school, workplace, and communities
- Ask CHIP to come and give a talk about noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and prevention
- Harm reduction: wear ear protection at sporting events, concerts, even at bars. Listen to your favorite song somewhat loudly and then turn down the volume for everything else. Do not wear your headphones all the time, think about when you can take them off. Do not stand beside the big loud speakers at music or sports events.
- Parents, you can limit the amount of loud noise that your children are exposed to. But also talk to them about protecting their hearing and why it is IMPORTANT .
- TAKE ACTION: See a hearing health professional if you have any concerns about your hearing.
CHIP has created list of resources and tools that you can print, and share with your fellow peers.