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New Research Helps Underscore Importance of ASHA Public Education Campaign

2006 Poll Findings By Campaign Raised Concerns About Potential Hearing Loss Risk From Misuse of Personal Audio Technology

(Rockville, MD - August 1, 2008) Noting the release of new research which indicates that hearing loss among adults is more prevalent than previously reported, the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) today encouraged the public to follow the safety tips of their America: Tuned In Today . . . But Tuned Out Tomorrow? public education campaign.

The tips, which can help reduce the chances of suffering hearing loss through the misuse of personal audio technology, are: turn down the volume; limit listening time; and upgrade headphones.

The researchers, whose findings appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine, note how the prevalence of hearing loss in the United States is predicted to rise significantly due to the growing use of personal audio technology, among other factors.

"We applaud the fact that a very important issue is being highlighted by the research that has just been released," ASHA President Catherine Gottfred says. Conducted by a team at Johns Hopkins University, the study found that one of three U.S. adults already suffers from some degree of hearing loss.

"Back in 2006 when ASHA's public education campaign commissioned the first national poll(www.asha.org/about/news/2006/release-hearing-loss) of personal audio technology usage, the results of that poll raised the same sorts of concerns," Gottfred explains. "Given the seriousness of the concerns and the real potential to reduce risk through prevention, ASHA is strengthening its commitment to continue to raise awareness through our America: Tuned In campaign."

The results of that poll suggested that adults and high school students were listening too long and too loudly to personal audio technology.

A key feature of ASHA's America: Tuned In campaign is www.listentoyourbuds.org, a resource for children and parents to learn about the importance of hearing protection and the adoption of safe listening habits.

ASHA President Gottfred encourages the public to see a certified audiologist if experiencing hearing loss, or to learn more about hearing loss prevention measures.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 130,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and dizziness disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders. www.asha.org.

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