Hearing loss isn’t simply a problem for the elderly, in spite of the prevalent belief. Overall hearing loss is becoming more prominent in spite of the fact that how old you are is still a strong factor. Hearing loss stays at around 14-16% amongst adults 20 to 69 years of age. The World Health Organization and the United Nations recommend that more than 1 billion people globally aged 12-35 are in danger of getting loss of hearing. The CDC states that roughly 15% of children between 6 and 19 already have loss of hearing and more recent research indicates that that number is closer to 17%. Only a decade ago hearing loss in teenagers was 30% lower as reported by another study. What’s more, a study conducted by Johns Hopkins projects these trends out into the future and estimates that by 2060 around 73 million people above the age of 65 will have hearing loss. That’s a staggering increase over current numbers.
We Are Developing Hearing Loss at a Younger Age, Why?
It used to be that, if you didn’t spend your days in a loud and noisy environment, damage to your hearing would happen relatively slowly, so we think about it as an inevitable outcome of getting older. This is the reason why when you’re grandfather uses a hearing aid, you’re not surprised. But at a younger and younger age, our hearing is being effected by changes of lifestyle.
Technology, and smartphones, in particular, can have a significant impact on our hearing. We are doing what we love to do: listening to music, chatting with friends, watching movies and wearing earbuds or headphones to do it all. Most people have no clue what is a damaging sound level or how long it takes to do damage and that’s problematic. Instead of taking steps to safeguard our ears, we often even use earbuds to drown out loud sound, purposely exposing our ears to dangerous noise levels.
There’s an entire generation of young people around the world who are slowly but surely damaging their hearing. That’s a huge problem, one that will cost billions of dollars in treatment and loss of productivity in the economy.
Do we Really Understand Hearing Loss?
Even young kids are usually smart enough to avoid extremely loud noises. But it isn’t popularly understood what hearing loss is about. It’s not generally known that over longer time periods, even moderate sound levels can injure hearing.
But hearing loss is normally associated with aging so the majority of people, specifically young people, aren’t even concerned with it.
However, the WHO says irreversible ear damage might be occurring in those in this 12-35 age group.
Solutions And Recommendations
Due to the fact that so many people utilize smart devices regularly, it’s a particularly extensive issue. That’s the reason why offering additional information to mobile device users has been a recommended answer by some hearing professionals:
- Warnings when you listen too long at a high decibel level (it’s not just the volume of a sound that can result in damage it’s how long the noise persists).
- Alerts about high volume.
- Built-in parental settings which let parents more closely supervise volume and adjust for hearing health.
And that’s only the start. There are plenty of technological ways to get us to begin to pay more attention to the well being of our hearing.
Reduce The Volume
The most significant way to minimize damage to your hearing is to minimize the volume of your mobile device. Whether your 15, 35, or 70, that holds true.
After all, smartphones aren’t going anywhere. Everyone uses them all the time, not only kids. So we have to come to terms with the fact that loss of hearing is no longer linked to aging, it’s associated with technology.
Which means we need to change the way we discuss, prevent, and deal with hearing loss.
You should also try downloading an app that measures decibel levels in your environment. 2 steps to protect your hearing. Ear protection is one way but also making certain you’re not doing things such as attempting to drown out noises with even louder noises. If you drive with the window down, for instance, the noise from the wind and traffic could already be at a damaging level so don’t crank up the radio to drown it out. As always, if you have questions about your hearing, come talk to us.