Ear we go again

Steps can be taken to prevent hearing loss in young people. (iStock)

It is a common misconception that hearing loss is an issue that is usually only faced by older people. However, hearing loss is certainly a huge issue for younger people.

The World Health Organisation reported that half of 12-35 year olds on the planet – over a billion people – are at risk of hearing loss because of over-exposure to loud sounds.

In Australia, there were about 3.6 million young people with hearing loss in 2017. According to Deloitte Access Economics, this figure will double in 40 years.

Many people included in this startling figure are going to be today’s kids, teens and young adults who spend extended time on headphones, listening to loud music or playing games.

Once hearing is gone, it’s really gone. However, steps can be taken to prevent hearing from getting worse.

To give context to just how loud we can unwittingly turn up a device’s volume when they’re already in a noisy environment such as a train, construction site, or loud crowd, try listening to the same volume level in a quiet room. It’s very, very loud, and that noise is literally hurting your ears.

Try to limit the volume that you and your kids listen to music, watch television or play games at, whether it be through headphones or speakers. Reducing background noise will make it easier for you to hear the audio you wish to listen to without needing to crank up the volume.

Noise-induced hearing loss is accumulative, so it can creep up on someone before they either notice or acknowledge it. People around will notice a young person’s ‘deafness’, often attributing it to inattention or just a quirk.

But it’s very real and it may be happening right now. Check your own volume or have a chat with kids and friends, otherwise they might wind up with hearing aids long before their senior years.

For more information, visit hearing.com.au