According to the U.N. health agency, an entire generation of
music-lovers are damaging their hearing using audio players that don’t limit
dangerously high noise levels.
As of right now, 466 million people worldwide experience
debilitating hearing loss. This number has risen since 2010, increasing to 360
million, and expected to double to 900 million. According to the World Health
Organization (WHO), with these estimated figures, one in every 10 people will
have debilitating hearing loss by the year 2050.
WHO is urging regulators and manufacturers to ensure audio
players and smart phones have software options that does not allow users to
listen to overly loud music for too long. They propose certain features such as
automatic volume reduction and parental control of the volume so that when a
user goes over their sound limit, they have the option that the device will
automatically reduce the volume to a safe level.
The only part of the world that mandates the output levels
on personal audio devices is the European Union. The standard levels are set at
85 decibels, with a maximum of 100 according to WHO.
The World Health Organization also looks at volume levels in
situations such as nightclubs or sporting arenas. These guidelines are
unfortunately not always widely implemented. WHO is also trying to develop a
kind of regulatory framework about the different venues. These places include
restaurants, bars, concerts, and even fitness classes, which often have very
high levels of sound being played over long periods of time.
Are you worried that exposure to loud noises has affected
your hearing? Schedule an appointment with one of our hearing healthcare
professionals today and let us try to help you prevent further damage. Remember
to protect your ears and keep the volume at a safe level.