A new initiative called HEARsmart is making Australians more aware of their dangerous leisure noise exposure – things like seeing a band play live or listening to music on an iPod.
Launched late in 2014, HEARsmart promotes smarter hearing habits through its simple message: Understand your risk from exposure to loud sounds and take action to prevent hearing damage.
It’s a broad initiative created by the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre (HEARing CRC) that promotes a greater aware of leisure noise risks associated with being a regular night clubber, a lover of live music, a farmer or listening to loud music through headphones.
HEARing CRC Chief Executive Officer Professor Robert Cowan said HEARsmart is targeting specific groups of Australians identified at risk of acquiring a noise-induced hearing loss and/or tinnitus in the longer term.
“Young people love music – and this can increase their risk of acquiring a hearing loss through prolonged exposure to amplified sound, while playing instruments or listening to music at home, at gigs or at nightclubs, whether for work or for pleasure.”
“Our aim is to work with them to develop practical solutions to help individuals and organisations alike to become more aware of these risks and to protect their hearing, or the hearing of others, and make listening safe as well as enjoyable for all.”
Music venue pilot study
Earlier this year HEARsmart announced it will undertake a pilot study to help determine how live music venues in Australia can become more ‘hearing friendly’. This study will work with a small number of live music venues to develop practical solutions that reduce noise exposure for musicians, patrons and venue staff while maintaining or improving the fidelity of the music being heard.
In the coming months, HEARing CRC researchers will carefully measure noise levels at gigs, and gain input from patrons and staff about their sound exposure. They will then use this information in consultation to deliver a cost-effective, noise-reduction package for venues.
For more information about HEARsmart™ go to: hearsmart.org