World Hearing Day 2022
World Hearing Day is a yearly campaign held by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness for hearing loss prevention and ear and hearing health care. This year’s theme is “To hear for life, listen with care!”
As a hearing care professional, you work to ensure all patients are aware of how to prevent Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), especially if they are already demonstrating signs of damage. This includes shifting the conversation around hearing loss to include younger audiences.
Read on for resources and recommendations you can make for your patients or their family members.
This year’s theme aims to raise awareness for the approximately 1.1 billion young people currently at risk for hearing loss. WHO estimates in their 2021 World Report on Hearing that “more than 1 billion young people put themselves at risk of permanent hearing loss, often unknowingly, by listening to music at loud intensity over long periods of time.”
It can be difficult to communicate the dangers that long-term exposure has for people who enjoy listening to loud music, especially because what is a normal listening level for many people is above what is safe for long term exposure. You can demonstrate safe listening practices by sharing how noise levels correlate with exposure times.
It’s also important to relay that protecting your hearing does not mean sacrificing the authenticity of an experience. For example, concerts and sporting events are often louder than safe listening levels. However, rather than avoiding these events, patients can make efforts to stay safe by using special hearing protection.
Dr. Amanda Kluzynski of the MedRx Hearing Center recommends using filtered earplugs during loud events. These offer clarity and precision of tone in addition to dampening sounds to safe levels.
Earbuds and headphones also pose a threat for those who listen to high sound levels for long periods of time. Many people raise the volume in their headphones to unsafe levels to block external noise. The risks associated with long-term noise exposure from headphones can be mitigated by using noise-canceling devices. This way, you don’t have to overcompensate for external noise by raising the volume in your ears.
Hearing Loss Prevention
Though hearing loss is perceived as a natural part of ageing, NIHL is often a large factor in determining the age by which someone experiences hearing loss. Exposure to noises that are seemingly harmless can actually cause long-term damage when gone unchecked.
Whether it be your car’s radio, or occupational noise, many individuals are more at risk for hearing loss than they realize. In fact, WHO also reports that “It is estimated that in the USA, 21 million adults (19.9%) who reported no exposure to loud or very loud noise at work showed evidence of noise-induced hearing loss.”
Dr. Kluzynski also states that many patients often don’t realize their hearing loss is a result of noise exposure until they have their first screening.
Promote Safe Listening on World Hearing Day
World Hearing Day is a great opportunity for you share information and resources to promote safe listening practices. Raising awareness for NIHL can help individuals of all ages reevaluate seemingly harmless listening habits.
As a hearing care professional, you can also advocate for safe hearing levels at events and in local governments. This can not only bring awareness to World Hearing Day’s 2022 message but may even increase your business’ traffic for those who have already experienced exposure and potential hearing loss.
Share the infographic or social posts below on your own page website or social media channels to spread awareness this World Hearing Day!
MedRx WHD Infographic 2022
MedRx WHD Social Media Posts
World Health Organization Resources