This year the World Hearing Day theme is “To hear for life, listen with care”. the theme is mainly aimed at prevention of hearing loss due to unsafe exposure to noise, the actions and recommendations benefit everyone, including people who already experience hearing loss.
Those who have experienced hearing loss, especially in adult life, know what it is like to face daily communication issues due to us no longer hearing well. We are in the unique position to speak of the harmful practices which is what the listening campaign is all about.
There are many reasons why people experience hearing loss, some are entirely out of their control but there is one thing that we can control, our habits, which can be harmful, such as listening to loud music over prolonged time, resulting in many cases in hearing damage. And like with the Eggs analogy, once the egg is cracked, you cannot turn the clock back, it is same with hearing loss. Once the damage occurs, you cannot bring back the ability to hear as before.
Whilst the launch of WHO Global Standard for Safe Listening Entertainment Venues is aimed at preventing hearing loss due to unsafe levels of music, it is also important for hard of hearing and deafened people who often struggle with conversations in noisy environments; designating quiet places allows us to feel more confident to enter the venues.
The recent study on noisy restaurants and the recommendations  have positive implications for everyone, by helping make restaurants less noisy places and allowing people with hearing loss enjoy the experience without unnecessary listening and concentration fatigue.
We need more awareness of the harmful noise exposure, life is very noisy indeed and any actions to reduce that noise are actions that will benefit us all.
Happy International Hearing Day!