Letters to the Editor

Louder not better

Nov. 17’s article “As ground-shaking noise rocks NFL, sports fans’ eardrums take a big hit” by Joyce Cohen, brings attention to a disappointing tendency in our culture: Loud is better. As chair of the Hearing Loss Committee for the San Luis Obispo County Commission on Aging, the “popularity” of extreme noise in public places is alarming.

Research shows that two out of three Americans suffering hearing loss are under the age of 65. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that approximately 15 percent (26 million) of Americans between ages 20 and 29 have high-frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or noise at work or in leisure activities.

The commission is working hard to encourage SLO County to become hearing friendly. Please join our campaign by asking businesses to “turn it down.” Tell establishments that you appreciate being able to have a conversation at their business. If necessary, ask that the music be turned down or simply leave. Be proactive in protecting your hearing and that of others.