The World Health Organization (WHO) stated in a recent report that nearly 1.1 billion young people are at risk of irreversibly damage their hearing because of their daily exposure to music that is often too much and too loud. Subsequently, the agency recommends no more than one hour of loud music a day for whoever wants to protect their hearing on the long run.
Additionally, WHO’s report shows that teenagers and young adults, aged 12-35, are the most exposed age groups due to their listening habits which include audio players, concerts, clubs and bars.
About half of those groups consist in people exposed to unhealthy sound levels from their personal devices, while 40 percent were exposed to loud music in bars and clubs. Most of those people reside in rich or middle-income states, according to the report.
Also, WHO officials estimated that 43 million young people worldwide already have hearing loss, while the trend is accelerating at an alarming rate.
In the US, the number of teenagers diagnosed with hearing loss rose from 3.5 percent in the mid-90s to 5.3 percent in 2006, WHO reported.
Dr Etienne Krug, a WHO expert in injury prevention, told press that the recent report was designed to raise awareness on an issue that is most of the times underestimated, but, although its potential to inflict harm is huge, it can easily be prevented.
According to the report’s final conclusions, people should keep the volume down, but limiting the time used to listen to their personal devices to less than one hour a day would be more effective in reducing noise exposure.
“That’s a rough recommendation, it is not by the minute, to give an idea to those spending 10 hours a day listening to an mp3-player. But even an hour can be too much if the volume is too loud,”
Dr. Krug argued.
WHO experts explained that any noise can damage our years if it’s loud enough and our exposure to it is longer than some safe listening times:
For instance, the safe listening level for an 85 dB level of sound, which is the background noise inside a car, is eight hours; a 95 dB sound (the noise of an average motorcycle) should not exceed 47 minutes; an 105 dB sound, which is the level of an audio player turned to its maximum volume, could damage our ears if we listen to it more than 4 minutes, while a 115 dB loud rock concert is unhealthy by the WHO’s standards if we are exposed to it more than 28 seconds (!)
Image Source: You are the Only Perception (blog)
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