The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned against listening of music or other form of sounds with or without headphones beyond the recommended sound levels, saying it is putting millions at high risk of hearing impairment.
In its latest report, the global health body has said that approximately 1.1 billion people, majorly young adults and teens, are at high hearing loss risk due to the excessive use of headphones beyond the recommended volume levels to listen music or any other forms of sound.
According to WHO, the musical public gatherings such as bars, discos, concerts, as well as individual use of audio players, are posing “serious threat” to the hearing skills of the people, mostly young adults and teenagers, who are between the age group 12 and 35.
Listening to “too much or too loud” sound can cause permanent hearing disability, as per WHO recommendations.
As per the official WHO figures, 43 million people who are between 12 years and 35 years of age witness hearing issues and even suffer hearing loss. The condition is of high concern as the prevalence is rising unabatedly with the use of audio devices.
A good thumb rule for using audio devices is listening at the volume to 60 percent of the maximum, according to the health experts at WHO.
‘Tinnitus’, ringing in the ears, is a common health condition often faced by the listeners who prefer loud volumes. WHO strongly advises the listeners to wear headphones having tighter fittings, noise-cancelling or cutting headphones. It also recommends use of ear plugs in noisy places in order to provide protection to ears. The best ways to protect our ears is to have “listening breaks” and preferring distant locations from speakers.
WHO’s Safe listening times
- 120 dB – vuvuzela or sirens – 09 seconds
- 115 dB – loud rock concert – 28 seconds
- 105 dB – mp3 player at maximum volume – 04 minutes
- 100 dB – car horn or underground train – 15 minutes
- 95 dB – an average motorcycle – 47 minutes
- 90 dB – lawn mower – 02 hours 30 minutes
- 85 dB – the level of noise inside a car – 08 hours