Traditionally, hearing loss has been a disability often associated with advanced age. Recently, however, scientists have started to notice an alarming trend as today, roughly 20% of teens and twenty-somethings are reportedly suffering from hearing loss. The reason for this rise in hearing impairment amongst young people is noise-induced hearing loss, and medical professionals already have a tried and true remedy. Thus far, the problem has been getting millennials to follow doctor recommendations in order to preserve their hearing.
What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
Just as the name implies, noise-induced hearing loss occurs when people expose themselves to excessively loud noises. Believe it or not, intense noise can permanently damage the incredibly sensitive receptors in your inner ear that take in sounds, and once these receptors are destroyed, they no longer convey audio information to the brain, impairing your ability to hear. In general, sounds of 60 decibels or lower are perfectly safe for your ears, but the problem is that many of the things we encounter every day create sounds in excess of that, including the most common contributor to noise-induced hearing loss in young people: headphones.
Follow the 60/60 Rule
Whether you use headphones or earbuds, the fact is that piping music directly into your ears can be incredibly detrimental to your hearing. According to experts, the majority of phones and MP3 players are capable of producing sounds at more than 120 decibels. When you consider that a decibel level of 85 is enough to cause hearing impairment, it’s easy to see how cranking your music up as loud as it will go can quickly damage your hearing. To combat this problem, experts highly recommend the 60/60 rule – listening to music at 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes a day. Following this rule will limit your exposure and preserve your hearing.
Not Just Music
The logic behind the 60/60 rule can be applied to more than just the music coming out of your headphones. The goal is to limit your exposure to damaging sounds. So whether you’re attending a loud rock concert or working on a noisy job site, be sure to give your ears a break every once in a while in order to prevent permanent damage.
Your hearing is precious, and once it’s gone there are no easy, effective ways to get it back. So be conscious of exposing yourself to loud sounds and noisy environments, and hold on to your hearing ability for as long as you can.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!