According to World Health Organization (WHO), more than five percent of the global population has hearing loss. This looks like in figures are 466 million people who have hearing loss. It is expected that the number will increase in the next few years. If you think you are one of the people who make up those numbers, you should book a chat with your audiologist.
Some Facts About Hearing Loss
Since hearing loss is on the rise, it is vital to know some of the facts about hearing loss and its impact:
- One out of every three people over the age of 65 have hearing loss.
- Hearing loss is linked with cognitive decline.
- Noise-related hearing loss is the leading cause of hearing loss.
- Even when we sleep, our ears are on stand-by, meaning they are working 24/7.
- When noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) isn’t the cause, hearing loss is typically associated with damaged hair cells.
- Physicians rarely test for hearing loss, so it is essential to book with an audiologist.
- Hearing loss increases your risk of heart attack by 36% and stroke by 30%.
What Are the Causes of Hearing Loss for Those Under 60?
We often think a vacuum cleaner is loud and traffic is noisy, but then we listen to music on our headphones on 80% volume capacity for hours. Out of these things, it is more likely that listening to music on a high volume for extended periods will cause damage.
The vacuum sits on about 85 decibels, but the music at max volume on headphones is 106 decibels. It is estimated that max volume through headphones will cause damage in as little as four minutes.
As adults, we know that we shouldn’t have our volume up too high, but children don’t have the same resolve for safety most of the time. As parents, guardians and grandparents, it is our job to show children how to protect their hearing. Since most of our children are now entertained playing games and videos and listening to music on digital devices, there has been a rapid increase in the number of headphones in use.
If there is less protection for an earlier age, that plays a massive role in the causes of hearing loss for those under 60 years old.
How Significant is the Risk for Young People to Lose Hearing?
We commonly associate hearing loss with age and accept this; young people face new challenges when hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the critical issues young people face, and, unfortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is permanent. Noise-induced hearing loss of the delicate hair cells within the ear is damaged beyond repair.
While many schools, academies, and job roles attempt to support those with hearing loss, it cannot make educational establishments and the work environment very difficult. The disadvantages of having a hearing loss that could have been avoided are far-reaching.
Simple things like team sports in school can become more complex. Only hearing loss can significantly impact students’ confidence and make listening to coaches and teammates across the field challenging.
With hearing loss on the rise, there are more episodes than ever placed in front of young people to break into the workplace and have an enjoyable social life. Another critical issue that faces young people is an unwillingness to head to an audiologist to get tested. Even if they suspect that their hearing has been impacted, they are less likely to go due to embarrassment.
Unfortunately, this puts extra strain on the ears and the brain and can lead to a myriad of other health issues.
How Can Young People Avoid Hearing Loss?
It is important to note that there are huge differences between hearing loss that can be avoided and hearing loss that can’t be. Hearing loss that cannot be avoided, otherwise known as noise-induced hearing loss, accounts for a considerable proportion of the hearing loss we see in youth today.
To avoid noise-induced hearing loss, try encouraging your child to use a straightforward 60/60 rule. This 60/60 means they don’t have the maximum volume above 60% for more than one hour a day.
If you are in the same room as your child, if you can hear the video of music they listen to through their headphones, the chances are well above 60% and need to be turned down. It is also essential to practice resting your ears. After you have been in a loud environment for any time trying to make sure that you have at least 30 minutes, with little to no noise.
If you would like to discuss the safe hearing practices, book yourself or a child in for a hearing test call Allison Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, P.C. today at Lake Jackson: 979-292-8501, Houston: 713-827-1767