Make Listening Safe by WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.1 billion young people worldwide could be at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. Nearly 50% are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices. The increased accessibility and use of personal audio devices for listening to music is coupled with the use at high volume and for long durations, and such risk-associated behaviors can permanently damage hearing capacity. Safe listening levels depend on the intensity, duration, and frequency of the exposure. 85 decibels is considered the highest safe exposure level up to a maximum of 8 hours.

HEARING PROTECTOR

HEADBAND BLUETOOTH ANC HEADPHONES

P103

HEARING PROTECTOR

NECKBAND BLUETOOTH ANC HEADPHONES

P102

Use Case Overview
  • As technology advances, the use of smart phones and streaming music is becoming is getting cheaper and more convenient, people began to become addicted to listening to music, but without knowing the louder sounds have begun to damage our hearing.
  • At present, the music headphones on the market do not hearing protection function which can automatically adjusted the volume with time. People unconsciously listen to the louder sounds, thus causing the hearing loss group to be younger.
  • WHO estimates that approximately 1.1 billion young people worldwide face the risk of hearing loss due to improper use of personal music devices.
  • The market needs a affordable, sound-protective hearing product.
Target audience
  • Profile: Consumers need to use headphones for a long time, whether it is learning, entertainment or work.
  • Drivers: Need to wear headphones for a long time in daily life, but it hurts the hearing unconsciously. You need a headset that can automatically adjust the volume with time and protect your hearing.
  • RTB: General features and sound quality, but there is an automatic hearing protection, which meets the needs of modern people and has a reasonable price.
Key Insight driving the opportunity
  • As technology advances, the use of smart phones and streaming music is becoming is getting cheaper and more convenient, people began to become addicted to listening to music, but without knowing the louder sounds have begun to damage our hearing.
  • At present, the music headphones on the market do not hearing protection function which can automatically adjusted the volume with time. People unconsciously listen to the louder sounds, thus causing the hearing loss group to be younger.
  • WHO estimates that approximately 1.1 billion young people worldwide face the risk of hearing loss due to improper use of personal music devices.
  • The market needs a affordable, sound-protective hearing product.
Key Pains and drivers
Many young people have the habit of listening to music in order to relieve the pressure of coursework, or to pursue the popularity, and with the player (smartphone) or music is more easy to get at present, young people and even adults generally have the habit of listening to music.
Because of this, it also caused young people's hearing loss to become more and more serious, and the hearing could not be restored, which made it difficult to communicate in daily life and could not understand the other party's semantics.
【User Testimony】
Hearing Protector P103 makes you focus on work whenever you are
Hearing Protector P103 makes you focus on work whenever you are Skouted Models : Richard Deiss  
【Hearing Columns】
5 Ways to Reduce Hearing Damage
Prolonged exposure to noise above 85 decibels – or the sound of a running lawnmower – for more than eight hours a day, causes gradual hearing loss, while explosive noises like fireworks, louder than 140 decibels, can cause immediate damage. Rock concerts or nightclub music hit the 95 to 115 decibel range. Before the shelter-in-place order, the Michigan Medicine audiology team was bringing awareness to high risk population groups, like U-M’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance and the university’s marching band, to help meet the unique demands of these performing artists. With many being exposed to hazardous sound levels due to the nature of their work, this wellness initiative was helping to prevent them from acquiring long term hearing disorders like tinnitus, a sensation of ringing in the ear. “Our goal is to be proactive, instead of helping young people, faculty and staff when they've already got hearing loss. We want to try to avoid that and prevent the damage,” Edwards explains. And of course, if there already was damage, the team was able to help. Although troubling, U-M audiologists recommend the following five prevention strategies: 1. Be wary of sound The best prevention for hearing loss is first to become aware of it, believes Bruce Edwards, AuD, a Michigan Medicine audiologist.   How loud is too loud? Are certain noises more harmful than others? Are repeated noise exposures harmful over time? Once people become cognizant of it, they start taking steps to protect themselves. If you’re unsure how different noises rate on the scale of quiet to loud, then check the National Institutes of Health’s interactive infographic called “Listen Up! Protect Your Hearing." “It’s never too late to start protecting your hearing,” Edwards says. “Continuous exposure can increase damage to your hearing, so you want to minimize it.”  2. To hear, first listen There’s an education element to being proactive. The team offered more information about hearing loss by hosting classes and lectures for students to help them minimize their risks in both their performances and their everyday life. Knowledge is power if it’s followed, Edwards and Heckman believe. 3. Beware of the earbuds Earbuds are prevalent in today’s culture of smart phones and laptops. If used at high volume, it causes more damage than previous generation’s boom boxes or Walkmans, Edwards notes. “The closer you get that sound to the ear drum, the louder it is because it’s trapped in and it’s tighter and that increases the level of the sound, which increases their risk for damaging their hearing.” Like Podcasts? Add the Michigan Medicine News Break to your Alexa-enabled device or subscribe for daily updates on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher. His advice, especially as people have more time on their hands during social distancing: Turn the volume down and only use them for brief periods, as length of exposure to loud sounds contributes to long term damage. Setting limits is key. 4. Embrace well-fitting ear protection Because the world is loud, everyone should invest in ear protection headphones or in-ear foam plugs, Heckman adds, with one caveat: Make sure they fit well. Learning an instrument during social distancing? Heckman says protection is key in preventing hearing loss. For the unique needs of musicians and performers, though, Heckman says to consider custom fitted earplugs. To make, an audiologist takes an impression of each ear, creating plugs that offer the most secure fit. These include various filters which help reduce frequencies while preserving sound quality essential for musicians who need to hear the nuances of each note, just not at a damaging level. Although non-customized earplugs with filters work well, too, Heckman suggests working with a hearing expert to select the appropriate attenuation characteristics, as well as to ensure an appropriate fit. 5. Take action to ensure a healthy future As if COVID-19 wasn’t enough to worry about, ignoring hearing advice could come with a cognitive risk, Heckman explains. "Leaving hearing loss untreated can increase our risk for developing problems like dementia or Alzheimer's down the road," she says.  Picking up fewer sounds severely cuts down the number of signals to the brain the ear nerves send. With less stimulation, the brain declines. Also, the brain works harder when it’s trying to process sound with a hearing impairment. That strain stresses the brain, creating further neurological decline. It may also bring on relationship discord as couples may not communicate often because “having to work so hard to listen is physically and mentally draining”, so they shut down. Social withdrawal may be a part of the equation as well, along with depression and anxiety because of feelings of isolation. MICHIGAN HEALTH n.d., 5 ways to reduce hearing damage, accessed 24 May 2021, <https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/5-ways-to-reduce-hearing-damage>
【Hearing Columns】
5 Ways To Prevent Hearing Loss
Hearing loss cannot always be prevented – sometimes it's just part of getting older. But hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises is completely avoidable. There are some simple things you can do to help stop loud noises from permanently damaging your hearing, no matter how old you are. 1. Avoid loud noises The best way to avoid noise-induced hearing loss is to keep away from loud noise as much as you can. Generally, a noise is probably loud enough to damage your hearing if: *  you have to raise your voice to talk to other people *  you cannot hear what people nearby are saying *  it hurts your ears *  you have ringing in your ears or muffled hearing afterwards Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB): the higher the number, the louder the noise. Any sound over 85dB can be harmful, especially if you're exposed to it for a long time. To get an idea of how loud this is: whispering – 30dB conversation – 60dB busy traffic – 70 to 85dB motorbike – 90dB listening to music on full volume through headphones – 100 to 110dB plane taking off – 120dB You can get smartphone apps that measure noise levels, but make sure they're set up (calibrated) properly to get a more accurate reading. 2. Take care when listening to music Listening to loud music through earphones and headphones is one of the biggest dangers to your hearing. To help avoid damaging your hearing: *  use noise-cancelling earphones or headphones – do not just turn the volume up to cover up outside noise *  turn the volume up just enough so you can hear your music comfortably, but no higher *  do not listen to music at more than 60% of the maximum volume – some devices have settings you can use to limit the volume automatically *  do not use earphones or headphones for more than an hour at a time – take a break for at least 5 minutes every hour Even just turning down the volume a little bit can make a big difference to your risk of hearing damage. 3. Protect your hearing during loud events and activities To protect your hearing during loud activities and events (such as at nightclubs, gigs or sports events): *  move away from sources of loud noises (such as loudspeakers) *  try to take a break from the noise every 15 minutes *  give your hearing about 18 hours to recover after exposure to lots of loud noise *  consider wearing earplugs – you can buy re-usable musicians' earplugs that reduce the volume of music but do not muffle it 4. Take precautions at work If you're exposed to loud noises through your work, speak to your human resources (HR) department or occupational health manager. Your employer is obliged to make changes to reduce your exposure to loud noise, for example, by: *  switching to quieter equipment if possible *  making sure you're not exposed to loud noise for long periods *  providing hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs Make sure you wear any hearing protection you're given. 5. Get your hearing tested Get a hearing test as soon as possible if you're worried you might be losing your hearing. The earlier hearing loss is picked up, the earlier something can be done about it. You might also want to consider having regular hearing checks (once a year, say) if you're at a higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss, for example, if you're a musician or work in noisy environments.   NHS n.d., 5 ways to prevent hearing loss, accessed 20 May 2021, <https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/-5-ways-to-prevent-hearing-loss-/>