Man on bus wearing headphones unaware he is causing hearing loss with prolonged exposure.

Hearing loss is normally thought to be an older person’s concern – in fact, it’s estimated that nearly 50% of individuals aged 75 and older struggle with some type of hearing loss. And despite the fact that it’s frequently completely preventable, a new study reveals a shocking number of young people are losing their hearing.

The National Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing recently conducted research on 479 freshmen from three high schools and discovered that 34% of those youngsters exhibited signs of hearing loss. Why is this happening? It’s believed that it could be the result of earbuds and headphones connected to mobile devices. And older individuals are also at risk.

What is The Cause of Hearing Loss in People Below The Age of 60?

There’s a very simple rule concerning earbud volume for teenagers and everyone else – it’s too loud if other people can hear your music. Your hearing can be injured when you listen to sounds above 85 decibels – about the volume of a vacuum cleaner – over a long period of time. A typical mobile device with the volume cranked up all the way registers at approximately 106 decibels. Your hearing is injured in under 4 minutes in these situations.

Although this seems like common sense stuff, the truth is kids spend in excess of two hours each day on their devices, and typically they have their earbuds plugged in. They’re listening to music, playing games, or watching videos during this time. And this time is increasing each year according to current research. Studies demonstrate that dopamine is stimulated by smartphones and other devices with screens, in the brain’s of younger kids, which is literally what addictive drugs do. Kids hearing loss will continue to multiply because it will be increasingly hard to get them to put away their screens.

How Much Are Young Kids in Danger of Hearing Loss?

Clearly, hearing loss offers multiple difficulties to anyone, regardless of age. Young people, however, have to deal with added problems concerning academics, after school sports, and even job prospects. The student is disadvantaged if they have a hard time hearing and understanding concepts during class because of early loss of hearing. It also makes playing sports a lot more difficult, since so much of sports entails listening to coaches and teammates give instructions and call plays. Teenagers and younger adults who are going into the workforce will have unnecessary hurdles if their hearing loss has a detrimental impact on their confidence.

Loss of hearing can also lead to persistent social problems. Kids with compromised hearing often wind up needing therapy because they have a more difficult time with their peers because of loss of hearing. Mental health troubles are ordinary in people of all ages who have hearing loss because they often feel isolated and have anxiety and depression. Mental health therapies and hearing loss treatment often go hand in hand, especially in kids and teenagers during developmental years.

How You Can Avoid Loss of Hearing?

The first rule to follow is the 60/60 rule – offending devices should be at no more than 60% of their maximum volume for no more than 1 hour each day. If your children listen to headphones at 60% and you can still hear the sound while sitting near them, you should have them turn it down until you can’t hear it anymore.

You may also choose to get rid of the earbuds and go with the older style over-the-ear headphones. Traditional headphones can generate almost 10% less decibels compared to in-ear models.

Throughout the day in general, you need to do everything you can to minimize your exposure to loud noise. You can’t control everything, so try to make the time you’re listening to music headphone-free. If you do believe you’re dealing with hearing loss, you need to see us as soon as possible.

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