Hearing loss is the 3rd most common medical condition in the United States. It affects one-third of all Americans above the age of 65. However, according to the latest study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20% of Americans in their 20’s are suffering from hearing loss and most of them are unaware of it. Among the American teenagers, researchers estimate that 17% have some level of noise-induced hearing loss.
Why is hearing loss increasing among the young people?
Part of the reason for the rise in hearing loss among young people is the improved portable gadgets. According to the World Hearing Organization 2015 estimates, 1.1 billion young people worldwide are at an increased risk of suffering hearing loss. This is because of the exposure to loud noise in different situations and the prevalence of personal electronic gadgets such as the Smartphone.
In the digital age, electronic devices have become smaller, faster, louder, and very powerful. Also, the battery life on these gadgets has been greatly extended and the sound technology is more sophisticated. This is leading to higher rates of hearing loss among the younger generation.
Protect your hearing
Irrespective of your age, it is essential to know how and when to protect your hearing. To protect your hearing you can the following tips.
- Keep the volume down. When you listen to music through your earbuds make sure that the volume is low, a volume level above 50% is risky.
- Use earplugs. When attending concerts wear the high fidelity earplugs that musicians use. These filter noise and let you hear the music.
- Control your exposure. Stay away from fitness classes with loud music, sports events with deafening crowd noise, and noisy environments in general.
Take action now
If you are often in a noisy environment or are experiencing some changes in your hearing, visit a medical practitioner or a hearing care professional. Delay in getting the hearing loss treated can result in permanent damage. So the longer you wait, the greater the hearing loss impact.
Hearing professionals offer the following advice:
- Forget the stigma. One of the reasons people fear visiting an audiologist is because they fear that wearing a hearing aid will make them look old. However, answering people incorrectly or not being able to hear is not a viable compromise. A hearing aid will make you more productive in college, at work, and at home.
- It can get worse. Hearing loss can lead to a myriad of health issues including walking problems and dementia.
- Take a companion. Going with a companion to see the hearing care professional will make you feel more confident. You can ask a family member or a friend to accompany you.
- Think of the benefits. Hearing aids will improve the overall quality of your life. You will be able to part in conversations, talk normally on the phone, drive, hear warning sounds, and be more secure and independent.
Noise, and not age, is the major cause of hearing loss. Damage from daily noise is increasing among young Americans. The everyday noise includes heavy traffic, rock concerts, noisy restaurants, loud music through earbuds, and sporting events.
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