Losing your hearing ability is not something to joke about – once you lose it, it’s gone for good and you can’t bring it back. The World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted a study which showed that around 1.1 billion young adults are at risk of going deaf because they are frequently listening to very loud music on their music players, smartphones and in the clubs. One of these persons at risk may be your child. Remember, if your child loses his hearing, it can lead to mental and physical health issues, troubles in performing tasks, learning, or getting a job.
- Exposure to 85 decibels for 8 hours or to 100 decibels for as little as 15 minutes can lead to hearing loss.
The study data that WHO gathered showed that 50% of young people between the ages of 12 and 35 are exposed to unsafely high sound levels coming from personal devices, while 40% are in danger of losing their hearing due to being exposed to very loud music in clubs and other entertainment venues, frequently and for long periods of time. For example, according to the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), exposure to 85 decibels for 8 hours or to 100 decibels for as little as 15 minutes can lead to hearing loss. And it is ridiculous that your children should put themselves in danger of losing one of their senses just so they can enjoy louder music. They are often unaware of what that loudness can do to them, so they are rarely careful.
- Are simple warnings enough?
Precisely for this reason, EU Standards have set decibel limits on all audio devices, including mobile phones, mp3 players, iPods, and so on. The limit is set on 85 decibels, but people can go as high as to 100 decibels. However, if a person approaches a high level of sound that could potentially be dangerous to the hearing sense, the device shows a warning about the danger if you turn the volume up.
- Your child might be in danger.
According to Etienne Krug, a doctor and the WHO Director for the Department for Management of Non-communicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, there are some simple methods for preventing the loss of hearing and avoiding the danger of loud music, without renouncing the pleasure of listening to the sound of your favorite music artist. If your child is exposed to very loud sounds frequently and for long periods of time, he/she can end up with permanent hearing loss due to the damage of the ear’s sensory cells. When this happens, there is no going back – your child will remain deaf.
- It is a problem that can and must be controlled.
Prevention measures include control. Control of time spent listening to sounds as loud as 85 decibels and limiting it to a maximum of 8 hours. Everything after that time becomes extremely dangerous. Moreover, buy your child some earplugs to take to a night club or a football game, he/she will still be able to hear everything, but the earplugs will make the noise milder and less damaging. Also, don’t try to save money buying cheap headphones for your kid, as they might not have noise filters and can damage your child’s hearing. Tell your children to turn the music down as often as possible and not to listen to music from their audio devices with headphones for more than 1 hour a day. There are also some applications on smartphones that are made to control the decibel levels when music is listened to, so you and your child can make sure that the sound level is safe and not harmful.
Telling people about the dangers of listening to loud music, or noise, for extended periods of time is very important, as without raising awareness there will still be problems with hearing loss due to not being informed about the irreversible damage loud noise can cause and practically change the lives of people for the worse, forever.