World Health Organization Prescribes Hearing Protection

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Etymotic Responds to New Report That Says More Than a Billion Young Adults at Risk of Hearing Loss

Etymotic ETY•Plugs® High-Fidelity Earplugs

Regular use of ETY•Plugs while practicing, performing and listening to music protects hearing from the cumulative effects of overexposure to loud sound throughout life.

The World Health Organization has released a report saying that more than a billion young people around the world are at risk of losing their hearing. And the news – along with hearing health recommendations including the use of earplugs – has gone viral.

The WHO analyzed the listening habits of 12-to 35-year-olds in wealthier countries around the world, and found that nearly 50% listen to unsafe sound levels on personal audio devices and about 40% are exposed to damaging levels of music and noise at entertainment venues. Exposure to noise levels of 100 dB, which is typical in such venues, is safe for no more than 15 minutes.

Some 360 million people have already suffered moderate to severe hearing loss, according to the UN Health Agency Worldwide. The WHO study goes on to say that "parents, teachers and physicians can educate young people about safe listening, while managers of entertainment venues can respect the safe noise levels set by their respective venues, use sound limiters and offer earplugs and 'chill out' rooms to patrons."

Etymotic Research has been doing just that for over five years through its Adopt-a-Band Program, which educates musicians, parents and teachers about the importance of protecting hearing. Education and advocacy are cornerstones of the program that also provides ETY•Plugs® high-fidelity earplugs to about 400 bands and music programs throughout the U.S. Regular use of ETY•Plugs while practicing, performing and listening to music protects hearing from the cumulative effects of overexposure to loud sound throughout life. ETY•Plugs are configured to replicate the ear’s natural response to sound to preserve the clarity of speech and the richness of music.

An important point missing from the WHO report is that when earphones seal the ears, listeners naturally choose safer levels because the music is not competing with background noise. In its coverage of the report, CNN said, “Just by listening to music at what you probably think is a normal level, or hanging out in loud bars, nightclubs and music and sporting events, you can permanently damage your hearing. Rapper Plan B and Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin both suffer from tinnitus, hearing loss that causes a permanent and irritating ringing in the ears, because they didn't protect their hearing. ‘Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don't think about until there's a problem," says Martin. "I've had tinnitus for about 10 years, and since I started protecting my ears, it hasn't got any worse (touch wood). But I wish I'd thought about it earlier,’ and ‘Now we always use molded filter plugs, or in-ear monitors, to try and protect our ears.’"

About Etymotic
Etymotic is a research, development and manufacturing company that designs high-fidelity personal audio products and hearing wellness solutions to assess enhance and protect hearing. For over 30 years, innovation and education have been central to Etymotic’s mission. Etymotic is one of the most respected leaders in high-fidelity audio and hearing conservation. For more information about Etymotic, its hearing wellness mission and its products, please visit

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Susan Kornfeld
Etymotic Research, Inc.
+1 (914) 358-1200 Ext: 301
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