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Think You’re Too Young for Hearing Loss? Think Again.

If you have teenagers at home, you probably assume their responses of “Huh?” or “What?” are the results of their lack of attention. There is no way that your teen or young adult is suffering from hearing loss…right?

Wrong. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released several studies showing that over a billion young adults are at a high risk for developing severe hearing loss, most of whom live in higher income countries like the United States. What’s to blame for this ever-growing risk? Music.

Have you ever walked by someone listening to a portable music device, but you could hear their music clearly despite their use of headphones? You’re not alone. Many people use their devices to drown out the world around them, but as the world gets noisier, so do their tunes—at the price of their hearing. Among other high-risk factors are loud concerts and night clubs, where noise levels can reach painful heights.

These high-decibel hazards are favorites of the younger generation, and have been for many years. The growing problem today is that music is more accessible than ever, and technology has allowed sound to reach new levels without distortion, so many people indulge in dangerous volumes regularly.

The primary concern that WHO has about this fad is that hearing loss is irreversible, and when it begins at such a young age, individuals are setting themselves up for a lifetime of impaired hearing. Simple solutions like limiting listening to music to one hour each day at a maximum of 60% volume can greatly diminish hearing damage, as can bringing earplugs to loud venues.

Protect your own hearing, and the hearing of your family, by carefully monitoring exposure to damaging levels of noise, including music. It won’t make you a square—it just means that you care.

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