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International Noise Day 2023: Eight tips from ENT expert to help prevent permanent noise-induced hearing loss

Apr 26, 2023

April, 26 2023 – (Innsbruck, Austria): MED-EL is joining this years’ International Noise Day to raise awareness about the importance of hearing loss prevention and care. This year’s theme “Protect Your Hearing, Protect Your Health!” focuses on the importance of hearing at any age. 

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to regular and prolonged exposure to loud sounds – especially music. However, noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented by adopting ‘safe listening’ tips in daily life.

Hearing loss is sometimes considered an invisible disability, however 1 in 5 people around the world live with hearing loss – by 2050 this will grow to 1 in 4 people warns the WHO in their first World Report on Hearing. 

Hearing loss doesn’t just affect our older generations. Almost 50 percent of people aged between 12 to 35 years are at risk of permanently damaging their hearing. One reason for this is that most people are unaware of the dangers associated with regularly listening to loud sounds or noise for extended periods of time, especially when listening to music via headphones, smartphones and other audio devices” advises Dr Patrick D’Haese, Director of Awareness & Public Affairs at MED-EL. 

MED-EL, a global innovator in hearing implants, stress the importance of protecting hearing, having regular checks, and doing something about hearing loss at an early stage. 

Hearing loss is a barrier to communication and quality of life. As we cannot reverse noise-induced hearing loss, we strongly urge everyone to care for their hearing. Cochlear implants and other hearing implants help to replace the human sense of hearing with the help of technology and can enable people to regain and maintain the ability to communicate with loved ones and colleagues, and actively take part in life. However, there are preventive steps everyone should keep in mind” continued Dr D’Haese.

Prevention is key 

The consequences of permanent hearing loss are extensive and have a significant impact on a person’s life. If hearing loss is left untreated it can negatively impact on quality of life, the ability to communicate, and confidence in social situations, safety, and overall well-being. 

Based on WHO recommendations, MED-EL shares daily listening tips which can reduce the risk of hearing loss: 

1. Lower the volume on personal audio devices to 60 percent below maximum. 
2. Don‘t overexpose ears to loud music: Adults should listen to devices at safe noise levels of up to 80 dBA  for no more than 40 hours per week, whereas children are recommended to not exceed 75 dBA for no more than 40 hours per week. Use well-fitted noise cancelling headphones.
3. Wear earplugs to protect ears from loud sounds in places with amplified music e.g. at clubs, concerts and entertainment venues. They can reduce the exposure by 5–45 dB.
4. When in noisy environments, take regular breaks in quiet areas. Limit the daily use of personal audio devices. 
5. Turn down the radio, TV, or any other source of sound distraction.
6. Keep a distance from loud sources of sound such as loudspeakers.
7. Choose devices that regulate volumes automatically: Try apps and other technologies with built-in safe-listening features.
8. Get your hearing checked: Visit an audiologist or ENT doctor if experiencing ear pain, a permanent ringing sensation (tinnitus) or difficulty following conversations. A free online hearing test can be a first step: available on the MED-EL website at www.medel.com/hearing-test 

About MED-EL

MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication and quality of life. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has more than 2,500 employees from around 80 nations and 30 locations worldwide.
The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in 140 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a MED-EL device. MED-EL’s hearing solutions include cochlear and middle ear implant systems, a combined electric acoustic stimulation hearing implant system, auditory brainstem implants as well as surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices. www.medel.com


Doz. DI Dr DDr med. h.c. Ingeborg Hochmair

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