It’s a Noisy Planet, an organization created by the National Institute of Health, has been spreading nationwide awareness every October since 2008 to prevent hearing loss during the Protect Their Hearing campaign.

Noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL, affects people of all ages. According to nidcd.nih.gov, 17 percent of teens ages 12 to 19 have symptoms of NIHL in one or both ears.

The National Institute of Health launched It’s a Noisy Planet in 2008. Since then, their goal has been to educate the country on ways to prevent hearing loss.

According to noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov, hearing damage is caused by exposure to sounds exceeding 85 decibels. A movie theater generates 70 to 104 decibels and the music playing from our headphones or during a concert emits anywhere from 94 to 110 decibels.

Dr. Kalob Parsons, an audiologist at Better Hearing and Audiology in Idaho Falls, commented on symptoms that show someone has experienced hearing loss.

“If you find yourself frequently asking someone to repeat themselves or you have to turn up the television to a high volume to hear, you might have experienced hearing loss,” Parsons says.

According to noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov, if loud sounds don’t hurt you as much as they used to, a portion of your hearing might already be lost.

Parsons advises anyone who feels like there is an issue with their hearing to take a hearing test at their local clinic.

Here are a few ways to protect your hearing according to It’s a Noisy Planet:

  • Distance yourself from loud noises.
  • If you can’t move away from a loud noise, use protective measures like earplugs or earmuffs. Your hands will also suffice if protective gear is unavailable.
  • Turn down the volume. Listening to loud music for extended periods can cause NIHL.

Music is a common form of entertainment most people use daily. Be aware of how loud your music is and do not listen to high volumes for extended periods.

You can join the efforts of It’s a Noisy Planet and spread awareness of hearing loss to your friends and family.

More information on hearing loss and It’s a Noisy Planet’s campaign can be found on noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov.