How the World Hears

The Hear the World Foundation recently studied and compared the listening habits of people around the World, focusing on the USA, China, Brazil, Switzerland and Germany. 1,000 people between the ages of 16 and 55 were surveyed. The results provided interesting insights into hearing awareness and the occurrence of noise-induced hearing loss and Tinnitus.

When it comes to exposure to loud music, the Brazilians are well in the lead with 64% of participants reporting regularly visiting places with loud music. This correlates with Brazil also reporting the highest number of Tinnitus cases (67% of people indicated they were affected).

One interesting insight was that while the Swiss have the second highest exposure to loud music (57%), they are also the least affected by Tinnitus (48%). This is likely due to the fact that event organizers in Switzerland are required to provide free earplugs to attendees. This statistic speaks to the importance of protecting your hearing with ear plugs in noisy environments.

Results by Country

Occurrence of Tinnitus after exposure to loud noise (going to a concert or club):

Never wear ear plugs at a concert or club:

Never wear ear plugs at a concert or club - Results by country

Protect their ears occasionally:

Protect their ears occasionally - Results by country

Suffer from long-term Tinnitus:

Suffer from long-term Tinnitus - Results by country

Always wear ear plugs:

Always wear ear plugs - Results by country

When we look at the results as a whole, it is alarming how easily we put our hearing at risk. 56% of participants said they have experienced Tinnitus after going to a club or concert. This is probably due to the fact that 68% said they never wear ear plugs and 23% don’t believe the music is too loud.

The top 3 reasons given for why they don’t protect their hearing are as follows:

  • 29% said they don’t believe the music is too loud
  • 25% worry that wearing ear plugs will make it difficult to talk to other people
  • 25% don’t have ear plugs to wear

It seems like the Swiss have the right idea with requiring free ear plugs to be offered at events.