The World Health Organization, an agency within the United Nations, has released a study revealing that more than 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. According to the study, more than 43 million young people (ages 12-35) live with disabling hearing loss, a number that is destined to grow without those at risk taking the proper precautions. The study offers solutions for individuals, manufacturers, entertainment venues, and even governments, in order to help curb a growing problem that affects the dance music community as much as any. The two actions the study cites as the most problematic, unsurprisingly, include listening to personal audio devices at unsafe sound levels and being exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at places like nightclubs and sporting events. We touched on the issue of noise-induced hearing loss recently, and came up with a few ideas for individuals looking to make a positive change regarding care for their hearing. These solutions are similar to those offered by the WHO, which include turning the music down on personal audio devices, wearing ear plugs to loud events, taking breaks when listening to loud music, and paying attention to what your ears and body tell you. Of course, these are all vital aspects to caring for one’s hearing, as once the ability to hear is reduced or lost, it’s gone for good. More Reading: Hearing Loss: The Most Important Thing You Don't Care About The WHO goes a step further, suggesting that manufacturers design audio players with safety features, entertainment venues offer ear plugs and ‘chill out’ rooms, and that governments develop and enforce strict legislation on recreational noise. While we don’t necessarily agree with all of these ideas, it’s obvious that an effort from everyone involved is essential in order to curb an issue that is having life-altering effects on our generation. Let us know what you think of the WHO’s findings and if you’ll be adjusting your listening schedule! Comment below, on Facebook, reply on Twitter, or have your say over in our brand new forums! Heath Harshman Born and raised in the Northwest, professionalized in Pullman. Enjoying the ride that dance music provides in our lovely corner of the country.