Normally, hearing loss is thought of as an issue only impacting older people – as a matter of fact, it’s estimated that about 50% of individuals aged 75 and older have some form of hearing loss. And though it’s frequently completely preventable, a new study reveals a shocking number of younger people are losing their hearing.
The National Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing recently conducted a study of 479 freshmen from three high schools and discovered that 34% of those freshmen exhibited signs of hearing loss. Why is this occurring? Mobile devices with headphones or earbuds connected are thought to be the primary cause. And older individuals are also at risk.
In Individuals Who Are Under The Age of 60, What Causes Hearing Loss?
For teenagers and everybody else, there is a basic rule for earbud volume – it’s too loud if others can hear your music. Harm to your hearing can occur when you listen to noises above 85 decibels – which is about the sound of a vacuum cleaner – over a long period of time. If the volume is turned all the way up on a standard mobile device it’s volume is about 106 decibels. Your hearing is injured in less than 4 minutes in these circumstances.
Though this sounds like common sense stuff, the truth is kids spend as much as two hours every day using their devices, often with their earphones or earbuds connected. During this time they’re watching videos, listening to music, or playing games. And if current research is correct, this time will only get longer over the next few years. Studies reveal that smartphones and other screens activate dopamine production in the brain’s of younger kids, which is exactly what addictive drugs do. Kids hearing loss will continue to multiply because it will be more and more difficult to get them to put away their screens.
How Much Are Young Kids in Danger of Hearing Loss?
Clearly, loss of hearing presents numerous challenges to anybody, no matter what the age. Young people, however, face additional problems regarding after school sports, job prospects, or even academics. The student is disadvantaged if they have a difficult time hearing and comprehending concepts in class due to early loss of hearing. It also makes playing sports much more difficult, since so much of sports includes listening to teammates and coaches give instructions and call plays. Teenagers and young adults who are going into the workforce will have unnecessary obstacles if their loss of hearing has a negative impact on their self-esteem.
Social problems can also continue because of hearing loss. Children whose hearing is impaired often end up needing therapy because they have a more difficult time with their peers because of loss of hearing. People who have hearing loss can feel isolated and have depression and anxiety inevitably leading to mental health issues. Mental health therapies and hearing loss treatment often go hand in hand, particularly in kids and teenagers during developmental years.
How You Can Steer Clear of Loss of Hearing?
The first rule to adhere to is the 60/60 rule – offending devices should be at no more than 60% of their maximum volume for no more than 1 hour per day. If you can hear your kids music, even if they are at 60%, you need to tell them to turn the volume down.
You might also want to ditch the earbuds and choose the older style over-the-ear headphones. Traditional headphones can generate almost 10% less volume compared to in-ear models.
Throughout the day in general, you should do everything possible to minimize your exposure to loud sound. If you try to listen to your music without headphones, that is one of the few things you can control. If you do suspect you are dealing with hearing loss, you should see us as soon as possible.