Hearing loss is typically considered an older person’s problem – in fact, it’s estimated that almost 50% of people aged 75 and older copes with some kind of hearing loss. But despite the fact that in younger individuals it’s totally preventable, studies show that they too are in danger of developing hearing loss.
One study of 479 freshmen from three high schools revealed that 34% of those students showed indications of hearing loss. The cause? The idea is that mobile devices with earbuds connected are contributing to the problem. And the young are not the only ones at risk.
Why do individuals under 60 get hearing loss?
If others 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 louder than 85 decibels – which is about the volume of a vacuum cleaner – for an extended time period. The majority of mobile devices can go well above 105dB. Utilized in this way, 4 minutes is enough to cause damage.
It may seem as if everybody would know this but teenagers often have their headphones in for hours at a time. During this time, they’re enjoying 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 reaction caused by addictive drugs. It will become more and more difficult to get screens away from kids, and their hearing might suffer because of it.
Young people are at risk of hearing loss
Regardless of age, hearing loss clearly creates a number of challenges. Younger individuals, however, face added issues with regards to academics, after-school activities, and even job possibilities. Hearing loss at a young age causes issues with paying attention and comprehending concepts during class, which puts the student at a disadvantage. Sports become especially hard if you can’t hear coaches and teammates calling plays and giving instructions. Early hearing loss can have a negative impact on confidence as well, which puts unwanted roadblocks in the way of teenagers and young adults who are entering the workforce.
Hearing loss can also lead to social issues. Kids with damaged hearing have a harder time socializing with peers, which frequently causes social and emotional problems that require therapy. Mental health problems are prevalent in individuals of all ages who suffer from hearing loss because they frequently feel isolated and experience anxiety and depression. Managing hearing loss often needs to go hand-in-hand with mental health treatment, particularly during the crucial developmental stages experienced by kids and teenagers.
Preventing hearing loss when you’re young
Using earbuds or headphones for no more than 60 minutes a day and at a volume 60% of max or less (the 60/60 rule) is the first rule to adhere to. Even at 60%, if others can still hear the music, it needs to be turned down.
It also may be smart to switch back to over-the-ear style headphones and quit using earbuds. In comparison to traditional headphones, earbuds put inside of the ear canal can actually create 5 to 10 extra decibels.
Whatever you can do to reduce your child’s exposure to loud sounds throughout the day will help. Try to make their home time free of headphone use because you can’t regulate what they are doing when they’re not home. And you should get a hearing examination for your child if you think they may already be suffering from hearing loss.