Whether it is a popular concert, a trip to a festival, or partying at a club, more than half of US music listeners surveyed regularly go out and enjoy music to the fullest. What many of them forget, however, is that while listening to great sounds is a lot of fun, it can have serious implications for our hearing. Right on time for the summer concert season, in its “How the World Hears” study, the Hear the World Foundation took a close look at the listening behavior and its potential consequences – with alarming results: for example, 53 percent of people surveyed in the US had previously experienced tinnitus after going to a concert or a club. A total of 75 percent of those questioned admitted to never wearing hearing protection in places where loud music is playing. And 30 percent of them underestimated the actual sound volume – a misconception that can have a disastrous impact on their hearing.
No doubt about it, going out, partying and enjoying music is great fun. However, when you consider that noise volumes at concerts and clubs can reach 100 decibels or more (comparable to the volume of a chainsaw), it is essential for every one of us to protect and preserve our sense of hearing. After all, once it has been damaged, there may be no going back – temporary hearing loss caused by excessive volume can lead to permanent hearing loss. In its “How the World Hears” study, the Hear the World Foundation examines the question of how we handle our hearing and sheds light on what we know about hearing and hearing loss.