Testing, 1, 2, 3…Sound Checks to Protect Hearing


It’s important to educate the next generation. Noise induced hearing loss is preventable and we have the wonderful opportunity to help educate young people about how to protect their hearing.

Sound is your life. You’ve dedicated yourselves to it. Whether through music, live events, or concerts, you’ve chosen to help people hear sounds the way they should be heard. As AV professionals, you control much of the sound experience for participants and shows,  and you want to give them the best listening experience they can have.

How do I know this? Well, because I am right there with you. I want people to enjoy a quality long life with the ability to hear throughout that life. You and I both know that dangerous or loud sounds can have a negative impact on us and our ability to hear. Working in the assisted listening industry for the past 15 years, I have striven to help people hear with clarity and ease, just like you. I want them to enjoy the show just as much as anyone else and I want them enjoying many more shows for the rest of their lives.

The thought of experiencing hearing loss is scary, but it continues to happen at a rapid pace. A recent study by audiologists at the Antwerp University Hospital in Belgium found that teens worldwide are experiencing tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, because of loud music, sound at concerts, and events, as well as through headphones. Tinnitus and hearing loss are permanent and can be devastating for those who experience it.

Teen wearing headset listening to loud music

This is why I think it’s important to educate the next generation to use common sense and not blow out their ears! Noise induced hearing loss is preventable, yet it’s happening at a much younger age, due to our lifestyle and the fact that our world has gotten increasingly noisy. We need to make hearing protection second nature. If you think about it, parents are usually telling their kids to wear their bike helmets, put on sunscreen, and brush their teeth. But how often do they tell their kids to turn the music down (not just because it’s annoying them), or tell them to take their headphones out (not just so they will listen at the dinner table)? I regret that I didn’t do enough of this as a parent, but with the knowledge I’ve gained through my career, I’m now focused on making sure that all generations know that hearing loss is no longer just an older person’s issue.

We have the wonderful opportunity to help educate young people about how to protect their hearing so they can continue to enjoy sound and music both now and long into the future. We can start by informing our friends, family, and colleagues of the potential dangers associated with loud noises and music, and ways we can all protect our hearing while enjoying the sounds. As we do so, we can all help prevent sever hearing loss throughout our lives and extend the wonderful experience of sound that we love to share, for many years to come.

What are some ideas or thoughts you’ve learned on how to prevent hearing loss?