The House Ear Institute, a non-profit hearing health research organization based in Los Angeles, offered free hearing screenings and hearing health information to convention participants throughout the run of the AES show. This was the 8th year H.E.I. (www.hei.org) has offered screenings, and demand was high.
Sound engineers and audio industry professionals are particularly concerned about the hazards of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Over-exposure to excessive sound levels can damage sensitive structures of the inner ear, resulting in permanent hearing loss. More than 20 million Americans of all ages are regularly exposed to dangerous levels of sound. NIHL can be prevented through the control of sound levels or proper use of hearing protection devices (HPDs), such as earplugs or sound-reducing headsets.
"We've made great progress since introducing the Sound Partners hearing conservation program to the audio industry in 1997," said Marilee Potthoff, director of marketing and outreach, House Ear Institute. "We've seen an encouraging shift in the awareness of the issues of noise and hearing loss and a greater willingness and openness to address personal hearing issues as part of maintaining a long-term career in sound."
More information on NIHL, Sound Partners and other advancements in hearing health is available at www.hei.org or call 213/483-4431.