Love Your Ears

Listen safer longer.

These could be the shocking consequences, noted by the EU in 2008, of the ‘teenage timebomb’ we face if not prevented with the present generation who are unaware of the danger.

With a fresh approach aimed at teenagers aged 11 to 18, the Noise Abatement Society is raising awareness about the danger of permanent hearing loss due to continuous exposure to loud music in the ears from MP3 players.

Through the Love Your Ears campaign, we visit schools with an interactive display to help students experience for themselves how loud they are listening to their MP3 players.

We are also developing lessons about hearing health, how the ear works and a personal development module to help teenagers understand the effects they have on others when they listen to MP3 players at high volumes.

Further underpinning this ‘teenage timebomb’, Deafness Research UK states that “a third of people under the age of 35 have experienced ringing in the ears, a sign of hearing damage, after listening to loud music”.

Just like sea waves battering a coast, sound waves produced by MP3 players batter the eardrums causing permanent irreversible damage especially over a prolonged period.

We’re urging teenagers to Love Your Ears now.

The facts

Between 50 and 100 million people are estimated to use MP3s on a daily basis BBC News 13/10/08

Up to 10 million people across Europe could suffer permanent hearing loss because music is too loud (Listening for more than 1 hour per day each week at high volume exceeding 89 decibels for at least 5 years. This approximates to 5-10% of the listeners which equates to 10million people in EU) EU study on ‘Newly Identified Health Risks’

The top volume on MP3 players is around 100 decibels (equivalent to hearing pneumatic drill 10ft away, 130dB is threshold of pain) some can reach 105 Db and listening to music at this volume for more than just 15 minutes at a time can cause permanent hearing damage Reuters Health

39% of 18 to 24 year olds listened to personal music players for at least an hour a day and 42% admitted they thought they had the volume to high. Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID)

If the sound from an MP3 player can be heard a metre away, then the listener is at risk of hearing damage.

Scientists say those who listen at high volume for more than one hour per day over five years risk permanent harm. BBC News 28th September 2009

It is advised that listening to MP3 players is limited to a “60-60 rule”: a maximum 60 minutes at a time, at 60% of volume capacity. Deafness Research UK

A third of people under the age of 35 have experienced ringing in the ears, a sign of hearing damage, after listening to loud music. Deafness Research UK

More than half of road accidents involving “podestrians” as they have been called, are described as young people, teenagers or children [listening to MP3 players]. Daily Telegraph 8th October 2008

RNID latest research found 72 out of 110 users were listening to their MP3 players above 85Db. The World Health Organisation says listening at 105Db for just 15 mins can cause damage. The Mirror, April 28th 2008

58% of 16 to 30 year olds are completely unaware of any risk to their hearing from MP3 players Deafness Research UK

66% of surveyed MP3 users are listening to louder than 85 decibels which can cause permanent damage to hearing over time. World Health Organisation

By the time the hearing disturbances are noticed, the damage has become permanent and almost always incurable EU press release

The evidence is that particularly young people have no idea they can be putting their hearing at risk Meglena Kuneva, EU Commissioner

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