Loss of hearing isn’t only an issue for older people, despite the prevalent idea. Overall hearing loss is becoming more prominent in spite of the fact that how old you are is still a strong factor. Amongst adults aged 20 to 69 loss of hearing hovers in the 14-16% range. Globally, more than 1 billion people from the ages of 12-35 are in danger of developing hearing loss, as reported by the united nations and The World Health Organization. In children between the ages of 6 and 19, nearly 15% already have hearing loss according to the CDC, and the number appears to be closer to 17% according to current research. Other reports state that hearing loss is up 30% in teenagers from just a decade ago. Johns Hopkins carried out a study predicting that by 2060 over 73 million people 65 or older will have loss of hearing. Over current numbers, that’s a staggering number.
Why Are we Developing Hearing Loss Earlier?
In the past, if you didn’t spend your days in a loud and noisy environment, damage to your hearing would develop rather slowly, so we consider it as a side effect of getting older. That’s the reason why you aren’t surprised when your grandmother wears a hearing aid. But changes in our way of life are affecting our hearing younger and younger.
Technology, and smartphones, in particular, can have a significant impact on our hearing. Whether you’re chatting with friends, listening to tunes, or watching movies, we are doing all the things we love to do and wearing earbuds 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 an issue. Instead of taking steps to protect our ears, we even regularly use earbuds to drown out loud sound, purposely subjecting our ears to hazardous noise levels.
Little by little, an entire generation of young people are harming their ears. In terms of loss of productivity, that’s a huge concern and one that will cost billions of dollars in treatment.
Hearing Loss is Not Well Understood
Even young children are usually smart enough to avoid incredibly loud noises. But it isn’t commonly understood what hearing loss is about. It’s not usually known that over longer time periods, even moderate sound levels can damage hearing.
Needless to say, the majority of people around the world, particularly young people, aren’t really concerned about the dangers of hearing loss because they associate it with aging.
According to the WHO, people in this 12-35-year-old age group may be exposing their ears to permanent damage.
Options And Suggestions
The issue is particularly widespread because so many of us are using smart devices regularly. That’s the reason why providing additional information to mobile device users has been a suggested answer by some hearing specialists:
- Alterations of volume for hearing health can be made by parents by employing built in parental control settings.
- It’s how long a sound lasts, not only how loud it is (warnings when you listen at a specific decibel for too long).
- Alerts about high volume.
And that’s just the start. There are a lot of technological ways to get us to begin to pay more attention to the well being of our hearing.
Reduce The Volume
If you minimize the volume of your mobile device it will be the most important way to minimize injury to your ears. Whether your 15, 35, or 70, that holds true.
And there is no arguing the fact that smartphones are not going away. Everyone uses them all the time, not only kids. So we have to realize that hearing loss has as much to do with technology as it does with aging.
That means we need to change the way we talk about, prevent, and deal with hearing loss.
Also, decibel levels in your environment can be measured by app’s that you can download. 2 steps to protect your hearing. Making sure not to try to drown out loud noises with even louder noises and of course wearing ear protection. If you drive with the window down, for instance, the noise from the wind and traffic may already be at a damaging level so don’t turn up the radio to drown it out. Make an appointment with a hearing care professional if you have any questions.