October is National Protect Your Hearing Month and National Audiology Awareness Month. This month, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and the It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing.® campaign, along with the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), encourage you to help raise awareness about noise-induced hearing loss, the only type of sensorineural hearing loss that is preventable, and to learn more about audiology. An audiologist is a health care professional who assesses, diagnoses, treats, and manages hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children.
Noisy Planet’s goal is to raise awareness among youth ages 8-12, their parents, and other adults about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). NIHL affects people of all ages. Approximately 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises. As many as 16 percent of teens (ages 12 to 19) have reported some hearing loss that could have been caused by loud noise, according to a 2010 report based on a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This October, help spread the word: noise-induced hearing loss is permanent, can build over time, but is preventable if you take these easy steps to protect your hearing and your children’s hearing:
- Lower the volume. Set the volume on electronic devices to a level that allows you to still hear what’s going on around you.
- Move away from the noise. Put some distance between you and the noise source to reduce the impact on your ears.
- Wear hearing protectors, such as earmuffs or earplugs, if you can’t leave a noisy place.
The Noisy Planet campaign, sponsored by the NIDCD, offers free health information about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss, including:
- Free publications (English and Spanish)
- POP! quiz questions for preteens
- Printable crossword puzzle (PDF)
- Shareable images, Web banners, and public service announcements
- NIH Pinterest: National Protect Your Hearing Month board
Join us this October, and beyond, to help us help families protect their hearing!