The simple answer is yes. Living within the advanced age of technology has certainly increased the risk of hearing loss with the use of portable media devices. Many young adults and teens are unaware of the harm done to hearing caused by listening to excessively loud music for prolonged periods of time. This present lack of awareness is why millions of young adults and teens are at risk for hearing loss.
“Can you turn down your music?”
If you’ve been asked on several occasions to lower the volume of the music playing through your headphones, chances are you’re damaging your hearing without even realizing it. The use of earbuds has become extremely popular with young adults and teens, whether they use them during a workout session, running errands, or simply lounging around the house. The issue with this is the volume at which they listen to their music.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
“Some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events…”
While this statistic alone is staggering, more data conducted by the WHO revealed that nearly 50% of young adults and teens, aged 12-35 years, are exposed to unsafe levels of sound nearly every day as a result of using personal music devices.
Hearing is Non-Replaceable
One of the biggest obstacles to date is helping teens and young adults understand the dangers of listening to excessively loud music. Many millennials and generation Z’ers love the idea of escaping or expressing themselves through music. Unfortunately, the music tends to be too loud in an effort to drown out all other outside sounds. What many young people don’t seem to realize is three things:
1. Hearing cannot be repaired
2. Hearing loss does not only affect older generations
3. The choices you make now can either help or harm your hearing in the near future.
Once damaged, your inner ear hair cells do not repair themselves or grow new hair cells. Damage done to hearing is permanent, and while there are options to help with loss of hearing, such as hearing aids, your hearing will never be quite the same.
Help Your Hearing Now
The actions you take now can immensely help reduce the risk of hearing loss in the future. Using hearing protection at any loud events, concerts, or entertainment venues can significantly decrease the sound level your ears are being exposed to. Hearing is something we most often take for granted, and once it’s gone, it will not return. Make sure you’re using proper hearing protection when attending various events, and be sure to lower the volume of your music through your headphones to a safe level. If you think you’re too young for hearing loss, you may want to reconsider that belief. Check out how even young adults are at risk for hearing loss.