Dr. Erica Hardee with Baptist Memorial Hospital Audiology speaks today to the Lower School with some alarming words concerning hearing loss. For a demonstration, she challenged the crowd to get loud. The seventh graders beat the eighth graders 96 decibels to 94 in a shout-off exercise. One group's noise level was commensurate to a lawn mower, and the other some industrial drill press or something. Bottom line, hearing loss, especially as a result from wearing ear buds for portable music devices, is a real problem contributing to significant hearing loss.
A solution she offered is the PlayItDown app (demo below) which allows the listener to test their hearing, experience what detrimental effects hearing loss will have on them in future, and gives the listener the ability to measure volume around you. The other practical suggestion is to wear noise-canceling headphones exclusively opposed to loud music through ear buds.
In an all-comers hearing test for the assembly, certain faculty members expressed their frustration at being exposed early on as not being able to hear the tones. Some displaying a survival of the fittest lasted until the "dog-pitch" tones... no comment.
Download PlayItDown if you want to increase your chances of maintaining good hearing while experiencing how old your actual ears really are given hearing loss. It's a bit frightening. Be forewarned.