The Hearing Health Foundation's (HHF) “Keep Listening” campaign encourages people ages 16-35 to protect themselves from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) by changing their listening habits with their personal audio devices and wearing earplugs when exposed to loud sound at places like music and sporting events, fitness classes, and even at the movies.
Not only can these simple behavioral changes protect hearing, they may reverse an alarming trend identified by the World Health Organization (WHO), which has labeled hearing loss a global emergency. According to the WHO, over one billion young people are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. In the United States nearly one in five 12 to 19-year-olds already shows signs of noise induced hearing loss.
Wearing earbuds that blast 100 decibels into the ear canal—and the volume can reach that and louder on many devices—can permanently damage the delicate hair cells in your ears, in just 15 minutes. Once destroyed these cells are gone forever.
It’s not just the loud volume you're listening to on your headphones or earbuds. It's also all the noise in your everyday life. The packed bar, where you shout-talked with your friend. Last week’s concert, and the ringing in your ears afterward. The Final Fantasy level you played for 12 hours straight. Life is full of noisy landmines.
A little protection can go a long way. Here’s how.
Additional resources about noise and your hearing health can be found at HHF's campaign website.