Worried about headphone-induced hearing loss?
The answer may be HearAngel
Cameramen/women, along with others in many varied professions, are particularly prone to hearing loss due to persistent wearing of headphones. Some GTC members have already taken the precaution of using a limiter for their headphones, LimitEar. Now, the team behind the LimitEar have come up with a potentially very useful app HearAngel designed to protect against headphone-induced hearing loss for anyone who regularly uses headphones, whether for work or leisure activites.
While the app is well on its way, the developers still need more investment and have entered it into the Vigin Media Business Voom pitch competition to help raise the remaining funds required. By going to the Voom site you can vote for HearAngel to help this app reach its full potential. See more.
The scale of the hearing loss problem
The Age of Individual Entertainment has health professionals warning that as many as 1.1 billion of us (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/ear-care/en) are risking hearing loss; half of the damage being caused by headphone use.
Stopping headphone users suffering permanent hearing damage presents two significant challenges: the first is to change current behaviour patterns, the second is the complexity of hearing science.
Most of us use headphones regularly in our daily lives and would be very reluctant to give them up. Some of us have already encountered the simple volume limiters on our smartphones, restricting the sound level and often making headphones unusable in noisy scenarios such as public transport.
These simplistic volume limiters are not the solution as they apply the same restrictions to all users, regardless of how long, how loud or how intense the listening content and surprisingly over protect many users. So, it’s time for some science, which shows that it is the sound dose, i.e. the combination of how long, how loud and how intense the listening content, that causes hearing damage.
The importance of the Daily Sound Allowance®
If we exceed our Daily Sound Allowance® (DSA®) we will suffer hearing damage. Although DSA® represents quite a large sound dose, you can use it up quickly by listening at high volume to high energy content, or more slowly over longer periods of time at lower volumes. It’s your choice, but how can you manage it when you don’t know what your dose is?
HearAngel® is an android (with iOS to follow) smartphone app which monitors your sound dose in relation to DSA® giving you the information you need to put you in control of your sound exposure.
HearAngel® deals with the complex science for you and helps you change your habit - a bit like a fitness tracker for your ears. If you wish, you can also activate HearAngel’s® optional protection feature and the app will actively manage your sound dose to make sure you don’t exceed your DSA®.