Listen Closely: Canadians Are Plugged In To Their Music Too Loudly For Too

Energizer "Getting Canadians to Listen" survey highlights risky listening habits

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - It's no surprise that Canadians love listening to music, especially through minute earphones as they make their way to work and school. In fact, according to a recent Energizer Getting Canadians to Listen survey conducted by Harris/Decima by telephone from March 25th through March 28th, 2010, 50 per cent of Canadians listen to music using earphones*. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying some good tunes, what's concerning to experts is the fact that close to 10 per cent of those surveyed, 14% of Gen X and Y specifically, admit to listening to their music at 80 per cent volume for up to an hour or longer, putting their hearing health at risk.

"That's the type of music listening behaviour that can permanently damage ears and lead to hearing loss," says Dr. Marshall Chasin, audiologist and director at the Musicians Clinic of Canada. "Going to a rock concert once in a while is cool, but continuous loud music or other sounds at higher than normal decibels for 90 minutes or more on a regular basis can have a long term impact on your hearing health."

While hearing loss affects Canadians at all stages of life, it is most commonly associated with older generations, leaving younger Canadians feeling invincible. "Hearing loss is an insidious condition - it slowly creeps up on you. Long term hearing health is in fact impacted by the types of lifestyle choices you make early on and throughout life," says Dr. Chasin.

To keep young Canadians "tuned in" Dr. Chasin offers the following hearing insights and recommendations, in celebration of Hearing Awareness Month this May:

    1.  Listen responsibly. The key to establishing good listening habits
        early is moderation. There is nothing wrong with going to a rock
        concert every once in a while or even listening to loud music through
        your earphones for short periods. However, if you find yourself
        listening to music at 80 per cent volume for more than 90 minutes at
        a time on a regular basis, you're putting your ears at risk.

    2.  Remember: sounds may be louder than they appear. While most Canadians
        (83%) would agree that a rock concert is loud and a lawnmower and
        motorcycle are loud, hardly any (only 5%) realize that a baby rattle
        can also register at louder than normal (up to one-hundred) decibels.
        Give your children a good hearing start in life and moderate how
        often you expose them to loud sounds.

    3.  Exercise and a healthy lifestyle can contribute to good hearing.
        Regularly exercise increases the amount of oxygen flow to your ears
        while smoking does the exact opposite. If you're regular smoker and
        couch potato and listen to your music at 80 percent volume for too
        long, you're increasing your risk of developing poor hearing later in
        life. Keep healthy overall to keep your hearing healthy.

    4.  The stigma attached to hearing loss and how it impedes people from
        getting help. People think nothing of getting or using eyeglasses as
        their vision gets poor with age, but often feel there is a stigma
        attached to hearing loss and using hearing aids. Technological
        advancements have made hearing aids more discreet, allowing both
        young and old to benefit from improved hearing while remaining
        fashionable. Don't be left out of the conversation, talk to an
        audiologist about modern day hearing aid choices.

    5.  How to recognize hearing loss. Hearing loss is very gradual and may
        not be noticed until it is quite significant. Key questions to ask
        yourself and observe in others in order to help uncover unsuspected
        hearing loss, include:
           a.  Has someone said that you speak too loudly in conversation;
           b.  Do people comment on the volume setting of your television;
           c.  Do you frequently have to ask people to repeat themselves;
           d.  Are there situations where it is particularly difficult for
               you to follow a conversation, such as in a noisy restaurant,
               theatre, car or among large groups etc.
        If you've answered yes to any of the following in relation to
        yourself or someone you know an audiologist assessment may be in

    6.  Get your hearing checked by an audiologist and get help to hear
        better. Audiologists can perform a range of tests that assess your
        hearing. Prevention is the cornerstone of any healthcare program.

    7.  Use hearing aids if you suffer from hearing loss. Today's hearing
        aids are small, discreet, and powerful as are the batteries that keep
        them going all day long. Energizer(R) offers zero-mercury hearing aid
        batteries in convenient perforated packaging - called Energizer(R)
        Perf Packs - so you can take as many batteries as you need while on
        the go, as well as the Energizer(R) EZ Change hearing aid battery
        dispenser which reduces the chance of dropping or fumbling the

About Dr. Marshall Chasin

Dr. Marshall Chasin, AuD., M.Sc., Reg. CASLPO, Aud(C) is an Audiologist. He is the Director of Auditory Research at the Musicians' Clinics of Canada in Toronto, the Coordinator of Research at the Canadian Hearing Society, and the Director of Research at ListenUp Canada. He is also an Associate Professor in the School of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences (Audiology) at the University of Western Ontario, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto (in Linguistics) specializing in Acoustic Phonetics. Marshall has been involved with hearing and hearing aid assessment since 1981 and is the author of over 100 clinically based articles. In 2003, he obtained his AuD from the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Dr. Chasin has lectured extensively on implantable hearing aids, hearing aids, music and noise exposure.

About Energizer

Energizer(C) Holdings, Inc. is a consumer goods company operating globally in the broad categories of household and personal care products, and offers solutions in portable power, lighting, wet shave and personal grooming. Energizer Holdings, Inc. is the parent company of Energizer Battery and Schick-Wilkinson Sword. Combined, Energizer and Schick(C), operate 23 manufacturing facilities in 14 countries on five continents and market and sell products in 165 countries. The Canadian headquarters are located in Walkerton, Ontario.

* About the Survey

The National telephone omnibus survey for Energizer Canada was conducted by Harris Decima. Data collection was conducted from March 25th through March 28th, 2010 among a representative sample of 1019 Canadians. The margin of error is +/ -3.1% percentage points 19 out of 20.

About Harris/Decima

Harris/Decima is one of Canada's most established names in public opinion and market research, with a 25-year track record of innovation and client satisfaction. Today, they are among the largest full service marketing research organizations in Canada. Harris/Decima offers a full slate of custom and syndicated research services, including telephone and on-site interviewing, self-administered mail-back and on-line surveys, as well as qualitative one-on-one executive interviewing and focus groups. Harris/Decima conducts research on public and social policy, program evaluation, employee satisfaction, issue management, marketing, advertising and communications testing and evaluation for a wide range of clients in the public, private, and third party sectors.

SOURCE Energizer Canada

For further information: For further information: on hearing health or to speak with Dr. Chasin, please contact: Elissa Zaks, (416) 642-7969,

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