In the world of Audiology, it is great to see our patients, family, and friends beginning to pay attention to hearing health and protecting their ears for the future. With technology getting more and more advanced, when it comes to measuring sound levels around us “there’s an app for that!” There are many free Apps that can be downloaded and utilized to measure listening levels around us using the microphones on our cell phones.
Many of these apps will lead you through some of their recommendations for how much noise exposure is safe throughout a day. And while none of these apps have completely met the ANSI (American National Standards Institute is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States.) or IEC (The International Electrotechnical Commission is an international standards organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies) standards, and therefore aren’t quite the “gold standard,” they can give you an idea if you are in a situation in which you should be concerned about wearing hearing protection to avoid noise induced hearing loss.
Even cell phone companies themselves are now noticing hearing health and attempting to help their customers become more aware of their regular audio listening levels. Within Apple iPhone’s health app for example, there is a “headphone audio level” where you can identify your average exposure to sound and at what level when using your headphones. This app will provide a rating of either “OK” or “Loud” so you can adapt your habits to ensure you are protecting your hearing health.
If you have concerns with your hearing health, or have more questions related to safe listening practices, please contact us today at 816.478.3008.