United Nations Issues Urgent Volume Guidelines

By Chrissy Hughes on 18th April 2019

The UN (United Nations) has unveiled a new report unveiling guidelines to prevent rising hearing loss among young smartphone users.

According to the United Nations and the World Health Organisation (WHO) more than 900 million people will suffer from hearing loss by 2050.

More than a billion 12-35 year olds face the risk of irreversible hearing damage. Loud noise and music played on smartphones are blamed by health experts. Functions to monitor how loud and for how long people listen to music are being recommended for audio devices. This is to help prevent noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus.

Together the WHO and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have collaborated to propose these recommendations.

According to data, 50% of young people listen to ‘unsafe levels’ of sound through their personal audio devices.

Think of it like driving on a highway but without a speedometer in your car or a speed limit, states Dr Shelly Chadha, a Technical Officer, working on preventing deafness and hearing loss, at WHO.

And what we have proposed is that your smartphone comes fitted with a speedometer, with a measurement system that tells you how much sound you’re getting and tells you if you’re going over the limit.

Hearing loss now costs the global economy $750 million, according to the WHO.

The UN has also suggested a forced parental volume control option

Further to this, the volume guidelines propose using technology to create individual listener profiles. The reasoning behind this would be to monitor how much people use their audio devices. This would allow people to see the amount of time they’ve listened to sound at an unsafe level. Apple did a similar thing recently when they introduced Screen Time to show users how long they use their device weekly.

Additional features proposed would include automatic volume reduction, points out Dr. Chadha. This would mean that once someone goes over the limit, the device would automatically reduce the volume to a safe level to prevent harming their ears.

What we propose are certain features like automatic limiting of, or automatic volume reduction and parental control of the volume, explained Dr Chadha, So that when somebody goes over their sound limit they have the option that the device will automatically reduce the volume to a level which is not going to harm their ears.

More than one in 20 people, 432 million adults and 34 million children, currently has some form of disabling hearing loss according to the WHO.

Are you surprised about the facts mentioned in the blog? Do you listen to sound at an unsafe level? Get in touch with your thoughts over on Twitter, Facebook or by email info@restoredhearing.com.

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