Hearing loss is often attributed to growing older. But the truth is, hearing loss can occur at any age, and prevention should start while you’re young.
The latest research indicates that hearing loss in young individuals is more common than we thought since subtle hearing damage to tiny hair cells is not always detected by basic screening.
According to the World Health Organization, 466 million people have disabling hearing loss, and 34 million of them are children. One of the most common causes of hearing loss is noise exposure, which affects more young people than the elderly.
In fact, 1.1 billion people between age 12 and 35 are at risk of hearing loss, due to recreational noise.
Fortunately, 60% of hearing loss in young people is preventable. Protecting hearing while you’re young is essential to avoid premature hearing loss, as well as the loss that occurs with aging.
Researchers estimate that over 900 million people worldwide will have disabling hearing loss by 2050 without protective measures. So, the stigma that hearing loss is only a condition of older individuals has never been more inaccurate.
The great news is there are easy ways to prevent hearing loss and discrete, high-tech ways to address it when it occurs. Beltone Hearing has a wide range of tiny, comfortable, virtually invisible devices for people of all ages.
Our hearing aids can be adjusted remotely through apps and connect wirelessly to phones or iPads for talking and streaming. In other words, these are not your great-grandparent’s hearing aids! To learn more, check out our innovative products.
Prevent hearing loss now and in the future by addressing these four threats to hearing loss while you’re young.
4 Things That Cause Hearing Loss in Young People and How to Prevent Them
1. Noise Exposure– Young people, endure loud noises for longer than some older adults, including noisy concerts or music blaring through headphones. But some noise damage is also caused by jobs in the music industry, factories, construction, dental practices, and commercial kitchens. A healthy noise level tops out at roughly 85 decibels during an 8-hour workday. But many jobs and live events clock in at well over 100 decibels. People frequently exposed to higher decibels for lengthy periods are at risk of hearing loss, even while they’re young. Talk to your hearing aid specialist about proper earplugs, hearing aids, and practices for preventing noise damage.
2. Injury– Head or ear injuries sustained through sports, car accidents, and outdoor activities pose a threat to young people’s hearing. Always wear helmets, seat belts, and protective gear to prevent injuries that cause hearing loss.
3. Illness and Disease– Some hearing loss is congenital, but other diseases that cause hearing loss can be prevented. Keep up-to-date on vaccines against things like meningitis, measles, and mumps, and seek treatment for chronic ear infections or compacted wax in the ears.
4. Climate Conditions– Frequent swimmer’s ear and prolonged exposure to cold weather are risks to young people’s hearing. While long days swimming, sledding, or hitting the ski slopes are thrilling for youth, wear protective gear like earplugs, warm hats, or earmuffs to reduce the chance of infection if activities are frequent and prolonged.
Why Prevention is Critical While You’re Young
Hearing loss is remarkably treatable with today’s technology.
But many people with hearing loss go undiagnosed or untreated. As such, the hearing loss worsens, since our brains begin struggling to decipher sounds.
Protecting hearing while you’re young guards against greater hearing loss as you age. It’s much easier to treat hearing loss when it’s caught early.
When you use assistive devices, you not only restore lost hearing ability, you also protect your current ability. Retaining that ability is preferable to restoring a total loss of hearing. Often, the hearing loss sustained in younger individuals is only temporary when addressed promptly.
At Beltone Hearing, we’re passionate about protecting and restoring your ability to hear.
If you or someone you know has been experiencing uncomfortable hearing loss symptoms, contact your local Beltone office to schedule an appointment. We see patients of all ages and love seeing the smile on your face when you regain optimal hearing.
Our smaller Beltone locations are still currently closed, and our larger offices are open following strict safety procedures to keep you and our staff safe.
Contact us today to be proactive about your vital hearing ability.