Although hearing problems are most commonly associated with aging, more than five million young people in the United States between the ages of six and 19 report some degree of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). In response to the increasing prevalence of NIHL in children, the American Academy of Audiology launched a public education campaign called Turn It to the Left. The goal of this campaign is to raise public awareness about the risks of NIHL, while also educating kids, parents and teachers on how to prevent it. Turn It to the Left is also the name of an educational rap created for the Academy by rapper Ben Jackson of Rhythm, Rhyme, Results. The rap urges kids to be aware of the noise around them and take control of the volume by “Turning It to the Left.”
What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, or NIHL?
Noise-induced hearing loss is a major public health concern. It occurs when people are exposed to sounds that are too loud, or loud sounds which last a long time — either of which can damage the hair cells in our inner ear, causing NIHL. These hair cells are important for hearing, because they convert sound into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, hair cells cannot grow back. The hearing loss is permanent.
What Can You Do?
Hearing is critical to children’s safety and to the development of speech, listening, learning and social skills. To prevent hearing loss, kids need to:
1- Turn down the volume, 2- Walk away from the noise, 3- Wear ear protection.
Link to “Turn it to the Left” rap by Ben Jackson