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Hearing Loss: It's No Longer an Older Generation's Problem
Posted by Echo Hearing Systems & Audiology on November 27, 2018
Many people think of hearing loss as an older generation’s problem. In reality, noise is the leading cause of hearing loss in America—not age. More and more young Americans are sustaining hearing damage, and the culprits are surprising.
Hearing Loss From Everyday Noises
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 million adults ages 20 to 69 have experienced hearing damage resulting from everyday noises like traffic, concerts, sporting events, and headphones. What’s more, a staggering 17 percent of Americans ages 12 to 19 show evidence of hearing loss.
Unfortunately, many people who have experienced hearing loss don’t know they’ve been affected. The CDC analyzed over 3,500 hearing tests and discovered that 25 percent of adults claimed their hearing was fine—but they still exhibited signs of hearing loss. So why is this happening?
Why Hearing Loss Is on the Rise
Standards are set in place to protect employees from loud noises at work, such as protective earwear requirements for construction workers. But, loud noises are everywhere: chit chat in restaurants, music blaring through headphones, rock music at the bar, aggressive honking during rush hour traffic. Plus, improvements in earbud technology make wearing headphones more dangerous than ever. Unfortunately, none of these everyday noises are regulated, and hearing loss is permanent and cumulative. Sensitive inner-ear cells don’t regenerate, meaning young people will have to deal with noise-induced damage forever.
Ways to Protect Hearing
There is hope for generations of Americans who still hope to preserve their hearing. The most obvious way to do that is by turning the volume on headphones and earbuds below 50 percent. As a rule of thumb, if people nearby can hear the music, it’s too loud.
Limiting exposure to loud noises also helps; that includes everything from fitness classes with loud music to rock concerts and crowded sporting events. However, life would be very boring without these things, so earplugs are essential for occasional outings. High-fidelity earplugs (similar to what musicians wear on stage) help filter noise but still deliver crisp, clear sound. Even a cheap pair of earplugs from the drug store still offers some hearing protection.
Start Protecting Your Hearing Today
During the CDC’s analysis of those 3,500 hearing tests, they discovered that a large portion of people who reported no hearing problems did, in fact, suffer from hearing loss. Because it’s difficult to detect hearing changes in yourself, and hearing loss is so widespread among young Americans, young people should have their hearing checked for damage periodically. The audiologists at Echo Hearing Systems & Audiology, Inc. can evaluate your hearing and recommend custom ear plugs or hearing aids, as well as other treatment options or advice for preserving your hearing. These are the only ears you have, and we want to help you keep listening for years to come. Call us today at (614) 457-5848 to schedule an appointment at a location near you.