According to recent studies, one out of three Americans has some degree of hearing loss due to environmental factors and age. The number continues to rise for all demographics as more people engage with technology, music players get smaller. Hearing loss is not just a problem for the elderly. It can happen to anyone at any age. In fact, hearing loss is on the rise for all demographics.
Hearing loss is on the rise for all demographics, not just people over 65. The National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that 36-million Americans have hearing loss. One-third of children ages six to 19 years old experience some form of hearing impairment. In fact, one out of every four teenagers have a permanent hearing loss due to loud noise from music players or personal music devices.
A recent study by Johns Hopkins University found that high school students with disabilities such as ADHD are more than twice as likely as other teens to use earphones at dangerous volumes putting them at risk for early development hearing loss. Another report revealed that 70% of college freshmen surveyed had listened to music at unsafe levels in the previous month.
A recent study found that noise was more hazardous than colds on aircraft.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
The good news is that hearing loss can often be treated successfully with medical intervention or assistive devices like hearing aids. Unfortunately, however, many people are not aware of their condition until it has progressed significantly, and they can no longer hear properly.
There are several factors that contribute to the increasing incidence of hearing loss in all demographics:
- Aging population: As people get older, their risk for hearing loss increases significantly.
- Exposure to loud noise: Whether you are exposed to excessively high decibel sounds on the job or simply attending a concert that is too loud, it can be extremely damaging to your ears and cause permanent damage over time.
- Infections such as meningitis or mumps
- Chronic ear infections
- Head injury or trauma to the head
- Certain medications, including certain antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Genetics and family history of hearing problems: If there is already some form of hereditary hearing issue in your family, then you are at an increased risk for developing one yourself.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect Your Life?
People with hearing loss often experience difficulty communicating with others, which can lead to social isolation. They may also have problems understanding what is being said to them, especially in noisy environments. This can impact your ability to work, learn and participate in everyday activities. In addition, people with hearing loss may also be at greater risk for accidents due to difficulty understanding warning sounds.
Tips For Preventing Hearing Loss
There are many ways to prevent hearing loss, here is just a few tips on how to prevent your hearing loss from declining:
- The best way to prevent permanent damage is by using earbuds or headphones that block out noise.
- You should only listen to music with the volume turned up to 60% of its maximum level and never more than 90 minutes per day.
- If you are around loud noises, such as concerts, sporting events or power tools, always wear earplugs or other protective gear like hats.
- Finally, avoid exposure to second-hand smoke because it can cause irreversible hearing loss over time.
Three Telltale Signs Indicating Potential Hearing Loss
It's easy enough to get checked by an audiologist during routine check-ups, but what happens when someone starts noticing changes in their ability to hear? Here are three telltale signs that indicate potential issues with hearing:
- Difficulty hearing in noisy environments: If you find that you are constantly asking people to repeat themselves or struggling to hear what they are saying in a crowded room, it might be time for a check-up.
- Ringing in the ears: This persistent ringing or buzzing can be an early sign of hearing loss.
- Having to listen to the TV or radio louder than others in your household – if everyone else seems comfortable with the volume at level four, but you have to crank it up to eleven just to hear it clearly, then there is definitely a problem.
Hearing loss can impact your life in many ways. If you suspect that you may be experiencing some form of hearing loss, don't hesitate to seek medical help. Early diagnosis and treatment are the best way to protect your hearing and maintain your quality of life. To learn more, contact The Hearing Spa Sarasota or The Hearing Spa Bradenton.