No disease, medical condition, or illness discriminates. That means you, yes you, can develop various medical problems regardless of age, race, or gender. Most people link hearing loss to be only affecting those that are considered “elderly.” While aging does play a big part in the development of hearing loss, there are other numerous factors that contribute as well, such as: listening to music at high volumes for long periods of time, standing front row next to the speakers at a live concert, and enjoying nightlife maybe a little too often.
Earbuds and Hearing Loss
Research from the Journal of Pediatrics concludes that an estimated 12.5 percent of kids aged 12 to 19 have some evidence of noise-induced hearing loss in either one or both ears. Most Americans usually don’t realize they’ve had any loss in hearing until professionally tested. Some common signs of hearing loss can be easily mistaken for minor inconveniences, such as saying “huh?” and “what?” too many times or blaming the other person for mumbling when speaking.
Young adults should start to pay attention to how often they expose their ears to loud sounds for an extended period of time. One of the biggest contributors to hearing loss in young adults is the use of earbuds. While most teens love to drown out their surroundings using loud music, this can be detrimental to their hearing over time. In a study featured in an issue of the Journal of American Medical Association, where iPods were the talk of every young adult (2005 to 2006) levels of mild hearing loss rose 30 percent from the 80’s and 90’s when the Walkman was then the popular music listening device. Explaining to your child that listening to music at such high volumes can put them at risk for hearing loss in their early years is incredibly important in preventing young adult hearing loss.
Check Your Hearing at the Door
Attending live concerts can also severely impact your sense of hearing. While music festivals and artists’ concerts are the buzz right now, people should consider using foam plugs or some form of hearing protection while attending these events. The ringing you experience in your ears after going to a concert is called tinnitus, and its caused when extremely loud noise damages the fine inner hair cells of your ear. This ringing sensation is usually temporary after attending a concert, but the damage done cannot be reversed.
Nightclubs are also a common lifestyle factor that could contribute to hearing loss in young adults. In a study, the average sound level found in a nightclub is at least 91.2 dB (far above the 85 dB threshold for permanent damage). It is recommended that people don’t expose their ears to sounds greater than 85 dB for longer than a 2-hour period (ideally at all). Unfortunately, those that work in nightlife and spend nearly 4 hours in such a high noise level every night are putting themselves at a higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss at an early age.
Better Lifestyle Choices For Better Hearing
The lifestyle choices that young adults make can have damaging effects on their hearing. Hearing loss, especially noise-induced, can affect anyone. Young adults should become more aware and understand that hearing loss is not dealt with just your ears but involves your brain as well. Go against the stigma and don’t be ashamed of protecting your hearing in public and getting your hearing checked annually.