Do you think hearing loss is something you only have to worry about once you get older? Think again—Hearing loss affects younger people as well, and research suggests that its prevalence is rising.
Hearing loss is affecting younger Americans more often
A report from NBC News found that hearing loss rates among teens in the 2010s are up approximately 30% when compared to teens in the 1980s and 1990s. One of the main reasons this is worrying is because younger people often don’t think they have to worry about their hearing, and they are therefore less likely than their elders to seek treatment at the first sign of trouble.
The most common causes of hearing loss in younger people
What’s driving this trend? The most common danger is the ubiquity of earbuds, which people are wearing for longer periods of time and listening to at higher volume levels. Also, because earbuds fit directly inside the outer ear canal, there is less distance between the speaker and the eardrum, increasing the likelihood that they will lead to hearing-related problems.
How hearing loss affects the young
Once the nerves of the ear are damaged, that damage can’t be undone. It can only be managed via various treatments. Therefore, the earlier you develop hearing loss in life, the longer that you have to live with it. Additionally, most teens are still in the midst of their education, and battling hearing loss can make it more difficult to concentrate in school and stay engaged, according to some studies.
Listening to music at high volumes also puts young people at greater risk for tinnitus. Tinnitus is a condition that is also known as “ringing in the ears,” but the actual sounds experienced can take many forms, including buzzing, whistling, and even clicking.
How to combat the prevalence of hearing loss in younger people
Taking care of your hearing is a lifelong commitment, and it starts with common sense practices when you’re young. Keep the volume on your earbuds at a moderate or low level, and limit the amount of time that you keep them in. When you attend a concert, sporting event, or other loud events, stand a reasonable distance away from speakers and consider using earplugs to block out background noises.
If you do begin to notice hearing loss, it’s vital to seek treatment as soon as possible to try to limit the damage for the future. At U.S. Hearing Solutions, our goal is to help every patient, regardless of their age, get the proper treatment for their hearing loss and maximize their ability to communicate. Schedule an appointment at one of our locations near you to see what a difference the right hearing solution can make for you.