World Health Organization Addresses Hearing Loss Caused By Smartphones
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), half of people aged 12 to 35, or 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds, including the music they listen to through personal audio devices.
The (WHO) and (ITU) are addressing this issue by creating a new international standard for the manufacturing and use of these devices, which include smartphones and audio players, to make them safer for listening.
Some Key Facts About Global Hearing Loss
- Unaddressed hearing loss poses an annual global cost of US$ 750 billion.
- Over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – has disabling hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children); impacting their quality of life.
- It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people – or 1 in every 10 people – will have disabling hearing loss.
Features of Safe Listening Devices
The safe listening devices and systems: a WHO-ITU standard recommends that personal audio devices include:
- “Sound allowance” function: software that tracks the level and duration of the user’s exposure to sound as a percentage used of a reference exposure.
- Personalized profile: an individualized listening profile, based on the user’s listening practices, which informs the user of how safely (or not) he or she has been listening and gives cues for action based on this information.
- Volume limiting options: options to limit the volume, including automatic volume reduction and parental volume control.
“Think of it like driving on a highway, but without a speedometer in your car or a speed limit. What we’ve proposed is that your smartphones come fitted with a speedometer, with a measurement system which tells you how much sound you’re getting and tells you if you are going over the limit”.
-Shelly Chadha of the WHO
We hope you enjoyed this newsletter. Use Audio Cardio for one hour a day to better protect, maintain, and strengthen your hearing.
We’ve linked the report below if you’re interested in learning more.