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WHO: 1.1 Billion Youths Risk Hearing Loss Because The Volume of Their Headphones is Too Loud

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WHO: 1.1 Billion Young People at Risk Of Hearing Loss Due to Excessive Use of Headphones - WORLD OF BUZZ
Source: Only My Health & West Coast Hearing and Balance Center
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In a recent news release from the World Health Organisation (WHO), it was revealed that almost 50 per cent of young people aged between 12 and 35 years (about 1.1 billion) are at risk of developing hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds from their personal audio devices such as headphones or earphones and smartphones.

The WHO and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have since issued a new international standard for the manufacturing and usage of devices like smartphones and personal audio devices to ensure they are safer.

“Given that we have the technological know-how to prevent hearing loss, it should not be the case that so many young people continue to damage their hearing while listening to music.”

“They must understand that once they lose their hearing, it won’t come back. This new WHO-ITU standard will do much to better safeguard these young consumers as they go about doing something they enjoy.”

Noise-induced hearing loss is indeed irreversible. An excerpt from the organisation’s guideline on preventing noise-induced hearing loss reads,

“When the exposure is particularly loud, regular or prolonged, it can cause permanent damage of the sensory cells and other structures, resulting in irreversible hearing loss. The high-frequency range (i.e. high-pitched sounds) is impacted first and may not be noticeable immediately.”

“Continued exposure leads to progression of hearing loss, ultimately affecting speech comprehension and having a negative impact on the individual’s quality of life.”

The WHO also estimated that by 2050, 1 in every 10 people will have disabling hearing loss.

Nearly 50% of teenagers and young adults are reportedly exposed to unsafe sound levels from personal audio devices, while about 40% are exposed to potentially damaging sound levels from nightclubs and bars.

So, what can we do to lower our risk of developing hearing loss? Well, here are some of WHO’s recommendations;

  • Use carefully fitted noise-cancelling earphones or headphones 
  • Set the volume of personal audio devices to no more than 60% of maximum volume
  • If possible, wear earplugs in loud environments (e.g.: nightclubs and concerts)
  • Take short listening breaks to reduce your overall exposure (when out at nightclubs, take intermittent breaks by going outside)
  • Stay as far away from sources of loud sounds (e.g.: loudspeakers) as possible
  • Limit the use of personal audio devices to less than one hour a day 
  • Get regular hearing check-ups if you think you are developing hearing loss

If you would like to know WHO’s full guideline on this, check it out here. Let’s do our best to take better care of our hearing, guys!

 

Also read: IJN Cardiologist: M’sians Are Now Developing Heart Disease At a Younger Age

WHO: 1.1 Billion Young People at Risk Of Hearing Loss Due to Excessive Headphone Usage - WORLD OF BUZZ 2

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