WHO Make Listening Safe Campaign launched in UK on November 1

 
 

prevention

© MLSC UK

“Love Sound, Listen With Care” - this is the UK slogan for the World Health Organisation's Make Listening Safe hearing protection campaign, which was given its official domestic launch this November 1, 2023.

The campaign will target ten- to forty-year-olds, the demographic considered most engaged in unsafe exposure to leisure sounds, the blare of personal audio devices, listening to shock-and-awe audio in games, and hearing at high volumes in loud venues. The number of young people at risk in the UK is estimated to be over 10 million.

As we are used to in such campaigns, the stats are accompanied by too frequently ignored words of wisdom from experts such as, in this MLSC UK drive, WHO Technical Lead (Hearing) Dr. Shelly Chadha: “Hearing loss caused by loud sounds and unsafe listening is both permanent, and preventable. As key stakeholders in health, we need to act to make prevention possible.”

Underlining the WHO's message locally is Stephen Wheatley, Chair of MLSC UK added: “The launch of the Make Listening Safe Campaign UK is the first step in making individuals aware of those activities which might be classed as unsafe listening so that they can take steps to look after their own hearing.”

You can watch a pre-launch video about the campaign here.

Not to spoil the fun

One of the biggest barriers to people taking such messages on board is the old and difficult equation of safety never managing to balance with satisfaction, especially when young people see any reduction in the fun of an activity as defeating the point of doing it. But it is doing things responsibly that this campaign accentuates.

Mark Laureyns, Co-Chair of Global MLSC said: “Our Make Listening Safe campaign is not about spoiling the fun. We should enjoy the sounds we love, like our favourite music, the sounds of life and nature, at their best. But if we do this responsibly, we can ensure we can keep enjoying these sounds for the rest of our lives.”

Another element these campaigns traditionally involve is parading those who have been forced to consider protection because their senses have already been shot to pieces by indulging without it. This campaign brings in testimony from gamer Patrik “Zero” Žúdel whose hearing - now affected by chronic tinnitus - was damaged in the virtual sphere from playing a loud shoot-em-up game five days a week, eight hours a day.

© MLSC UK      Gamer, Patrik “Zero” Žúdel: “To me, there isn't such a thing as silence anymore."

“I remember I was getting to bed after a full day of gaming and I heard this really loud ringing. That bothered me so I had a hard time sleeping because it was so much in the foreground and it’s never really left since. It got a bit quieter, but it never really left," says Patrik now, who fears the impact on his mental health, and admits: "It made me a bit more paranoid about my future sound exposure."

Listen for Life - A Night Time Industries Association campaign

Parallel to the WHO campaign, and also just activated on UK territory, is a focused drive by the Night Time Industries Association called Listen for Life. The NTIA's focus is on safer listening and acoustic environments for both the workers in bars, clubs, and music venues, and employees.

Listen for Life, which was recently officially launched at a House of Commons reception hosted by Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith, is supported by this clever and powerful video:

For more information on the Make Listening Safe Campaign, clickhere.

Source: MLSC UK

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