Our teens and early 20s are all about enjoying life and planning for the future. We mark milestones in our early careers; we plan where we’ll live and the type of family we want, we dream about the trips we’ll go on. But the brand of hearing aid we’ll wear? Not usually a part of those plans.
Hearing loss isn’t something that we plan for, especially as young adults, but it’s becoming a much more common problem for young people. Since the 1990s, the incidence of teenagers with some form of hearing loss has jumped 30%. Hearing loss isn’t just an age problem — it’s a noise problem. And there are plenty of ways we can help ourselves in our teens and early 20s to combat it.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
While hearing loss is, of course, more common in older people, the cause of hearing loss isn’t merely getting older. Noise is the leading cause of hearing loss in young people. Everyday loud noises like traffic, listening to music too loudly through earbuds and spending time in noisy spaces all contribute to noise-induced hearing loss.
Young people are also more likely to ignore the problem when it arises. You may be inclined to think that buzzing in your ears is temporary, or you think you can’t hear people talking as clearly because your ears are just clogged, but it’s essential to take any problems with your hearing seriously at the first sign of trouble.
Focus on Your Hearing Early in Life
An important point for younger generations to consider is that damage caused by noise is cumulative. Exposing yourself to loud noises more frequently will damage the ears and lead to a higher chance of early hearing loss. And that damage is permanent.
While some types of hearing loss can improve with surgery, noise-induced hearing loss is only alleviated with hearing aids.
How Can You Help?
Young people looking to take care of their hearing for the future can do several things to help themselves. Turning down the volume when you’re using earbuds is the first step. Anything higher than 50% of the highest possible volume can potentially damage your hearing. Similarly, wearing earplugs/protectors when you’re near high noise levels like at a concert/night club or fireworks display helps tremendously.
Avoiding exposure to loud noises is one of the best ways to control your hearing health. By limiting your exposure to loud noises when you’re in your teens and early 20s, you’ll lengthen the time before hearing loss becomes likely. Don’t forget, it’s not always one loud bang that will damage your hearing, but daily exposure to volumes that are ‘just that little bit too loud’ that causes the most damage.
As technology advances, hearing loss is becoming easier than ever to live with, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to avoid it altogether.
If you are having trouble with your hearing, contact us today to schedule an appointment. The longer you leave a hearing loss, the more difficult it will be to treat.
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