Emilio and Patty Cortez have been alarmed at the very high sound levels that they’ve encountered at restaurants, entertainment facilities, and especially at gymnasiums, where people are presumably concerned about their well being. They have embarked on a campaign called Turn Down the Volume to educate the public about the danger of Noise Induced Hearing Loss.
Dr. Cortez described their efforts to bring sound levels under control at a variety of locations, with varying degrees of success, often finding lip service in support of the issue, and indifference at the front lines. As is often the case with hearing loss issues, denial is a constant factor.
He demonstrated a number of sound level meters, and pointed out that smartphones can serve this function, using many different apps, some of them free.
If excessive levels can’t be avoided, by necessity or preference, earplugs are a simple countermeasure, and he demonstrated their use.
Headphones are now available with level limiting features, and Dr. Cortez brought a number of samples. These units are supposed to limit the effective sound level to 85dBA, although some products indicate higher levels.
The web site DangerousDecibels has a wealth of information about NIHL causes, prevalence, and measures to deal with it. It is 100% preventable!
Under 85 keeps your hearing alive.
CART transcript available on request to firstname.lastname@example.org