One specific group we are aiming to influence on the importance of hearing conservation are young people, who are particularly vulnerable to irreversible effects on their hearing health due to long periods of unprotected listening. Modern life for young people involves many hours a day listening to personal music players, for example on the journey to and from school and then plugging into gaming headsets when they arrive home. In fact, much of school content and learning also involves listening through headsets.
There is little to no education available to young people on the impact their listening habits; including listening levels and duration levels is having on their hearing and mental health.
Over exposed Noise induced hearing loss is the most common form of hearing loss (after the typical expected accumulation of noise over a lifetime manifesting as age related hearing loss). As a society we can anticipate a timebomb of hearing health problems in our young people – resulting in a higher prevalence of tinnitus and hearing loss in 20 and 30 year olds becoming common place in the near future.
Despite the fact that the numbers of people exposed to high noise levels through traditional trades such as mining, and heavy industrial work has decreased; the number of people exposed to high levels of noise at nightclubs, live-music gigs, and personal music players has trebled since the 1980s. We are unsure of the scale of this problem, but early evidence suggests that many young people are already entering the workforce with hearing damage.
“this was the best Enterprise Challenge day we’ve ever had”
Mrs X, Aylesford School, Warwick
‘Protect Your Ears for Life’ Programme
The UKHCA have developed a Protect your ears for life! school education programme. The programme can be tailored to specific age groups but is currently aimed at high school age children. We provide education around sound, noise and hearing and improve awareness of what ‘dangerous listening’ looks like. The event provides the opportunity to educate young people on how best to protect their hearing – now as in influencing their listening habits and for the future to think about noise when in the workplace.
If you are interested in hosting or arranging one of our Protect your ears for life! school enterprise days contact us