Save Your Hearing!
A RECENT survey of 400 youths in France revealed that 1 out of every 5 of them suffers from hearing loss. A similar study a decade earlier showed that only 1 out of every 10 young people suffered such loss. Acting upon the dramatic increase in hearing loss of the young, last year the French National Assembly voted to limit the level of sound from personal stereos to 100 decibels.
Much of the blame for the hearing loss is placed on the high sound levels emanating from headphones of personal stereos. Ear surgeon Jean-Pierre Cave says that volumes above 100 decibels can result in permanent damage after a few hours. It takes only minutes for such damage to occur when the volume is above 115 decibels. FNAC, a leading French electronics retailer, says most of its personal stereos produce more than 100 decibels. Some personal stereos can put out 126 decibels, which is 400 times as much power as 100 decibels!
Rock concerts may be hurting even more young people than personal stereos are, according to French hearing specialist Christian Meyer-Bisch. Indeed, regular attenders of rock concerts had significant hearing loss compared with healthy 18-year-olds. No wonder French National Assembly deputy Jean-François Mattei warned: “We’re producing a generation of deaf people.”
So to save your hearing, watch that volume!