The following announcement can be found in the latest ADARA (Professionals Networking for Excellence in Service Delivery with Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing) newsletter:
lessersoundapp™ Creates the “Color of Sound™”
High sound levels are linked to many physical health issues and can permanently affect hearing over time – Wayne Lesser.
SAN FRANCISCO, California-June 1, 2016-The lessersoundapp™ was created to determine when noise levels are so loud that possible damage could occur. The Smartphone app can be used anywhere you go: shopping, concerts, construction sites, walking down city streets, even in front of your TV. Most people are not aware when loud noises are harmful to their hearing, and there is no easy way to determine this information. In a country where healthcare measures are so prominent, this is one area that has been ignored. Wayne Lesser, suffering from hearing loss all of his life, wanted to help people take a proactive approach to protect themselves from further damage.
“The Sound Awareness Movement project came about when I heard so many people say, ‘I hate going to a place that is too loud’ (food, movies, bars, other public venues), and what did that actually mean? What we have done in the lessersoundapp™ is to define ‘loud’ through decibel levels and familiar colors to explain and personalize what ‘loud’ means, the consequences of exposure to ‘too loud,’ (in real time) and the harmful effects on hearing and body health.”
The National Institute of Deafness reports that approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing. In addition, it also estimates that 15 percent of Americans (26 million people) between the ages of 20 and 69 have high-frequency hearing loss due to stressful noise exposure at work or during leisure activities. Many people are unaware that certain noise levels can cause long-term problems. Humans can become conditioned to loud noises and not even be aware when auditory damage is happening. There is no automatic warning in our bodies to alert us there is a problem.
The lessersoundapp™ created this system to show a warning when potential hearing problems can occur, so that people’s hearing levels do not worsen. It’s simple to use: within five seconds of opening the app, you’ll have the Color of Sound™—a color-coded measurement providing you with useful and beneficial information to protect your hearing.
On May 4, the lessersoundapp™ was nominated for the 2016 Appy Awards—making the cut in the medical category with two other contenders. “The 2016 Appy Awards had a record number of entries in the medical category, so the competition was really tough. We congratulate lessersound. Endorsed by the Hearing Loss Association of America, lessersound’s measurement of the decibel levels in one’s surroundings helps both the hard of hearing and those who want to avoid noise pollution,” stated Laura Daly, director of communications, MediaPost. The ADARA Update 19 2016 Issue #3
Others in the medical field found the lessersoundapp™ helpful as well. Darragh Kennedy, CEO of the Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California has this to say, “It is a great product that fills a need I am often asked about. This is very easy for me to get behind.” Also, Debra Rodgers, HLAA-CA board trustee, advocacy team chair, shared these thoughts, “I think that this may prove beneficial to people who are working in potentially dangerously loud work environments, and lead to much needed attention to hearing protection for employees. My husband works in Occupational Health and Safety; construction sites usually provide safety training and ear protection, but other businesses do not. Some places that come to mind are dry cleaners . . . coffee shops, auto repair shops, lumber yards, even some restaurants and department stores, etc.”
Anyone who has been subjected to loud noise for any length of time knows how nerve-racking it is. The irritating noise doesn’t take long to affect someone’s mental health in a negative way. Lorraine Lesser has experienced this first hand, “The lessersoundapp has been very beneficial to me, my husband, and my friends because we’re very social—especially, when we dine out at restaurants. With my husband being hard of hearing, he becomes agitated when the noise is too loud at the restaurants we go to. Knowing the decibel levels helps, and we can find another place to eat.”