An estimated 50% of individuals over the age of 75 have some form of hearing loss and that’s why most people consider it an issue for older people. But despite the fact that in younger people it’s totally preventable, research shows that they too are at risk of developing hearing loss.
One study of 479 freshmen from three high schools revealed that 34% of those students showed symptoms of hearing loss. The cause? The concept is that mobile devices with earbuds connected are contributing to the problem. And everyone’s at risk.
Why do individuals under 60 get hearing loss?
If other people can hear your music, it’s too loud and that’s a basic rule for teenagers and everyone. Harm to your hearing can happen when you listen to sounds above 85 decibels – which is about the sound of a vacuum cleaner – for an extended time period. The majority of mobile devices can go well above 105dB. Used in this way, 4 minutes is enough to cause damage.
It might seem as if everyone would know this but teenagers frequently have their headphones in for hours at a time. During this time, they’re listening to music, playing games, and watching video. And this will only increase over the next several years, if we’re to believe present research. Research shows that smartphones and other screens activate dopamine production in younger kids’ brains, which is the same response caused by addictive drugs. Kids’ hearing will suffer as it becomes more difficult to get them to put down their devices.
Young people are at risk of hearing loss
Regardless of age, hearing loss obviously creates a number of difficulties. Younger individuals, however, face additional issues regarding academics, after-school activities, and even job possibilities. Students with hearing loss face a particularly difficult time hearing and comprehending concepts. Sports become particularly hard if you can’t hear coaches and teammates calling plays and giving directions. Young adults and teenagers joining the workforce can face unnecessary obstacles due to hearing loss.
Hearing loss can also lead to social problems. Kids who have damaged hearing have a harder time interacting with peers, which often causes social and emotional issues that require therapy. Individuals who cope with hearing loss frequently feel isolated and experience mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Managing hearing loss often must go hand-in-hand with mental health treatment, particularly during the crucial developmental stages experienced by kids and teenagers.
How young people can avoid hearing loss
The first rule to follow is the 60/60 rule – devices and earbuds should only be used for 60 minutes per day at 60% or less of the maximum volume. Even at 60%, if other people can still hear the sound, it needs to be turned down.
You might also want to replace the earbuds and go with the older style over-the-ear headphones. In comparison to traditional headphones, earbuds placed inside of the ear canal can actually produce 5 to 10 extra decibels.
In general, though, do what you can to control your child’s exposure to loud sounds during the day. You can’t control everything they do during school or on the bus, so try to make the time they’re at home headphone-free. And you need to get a hearing examination for your child if you believe they may already be suffering from hearing loss.