Does Hearing Loss Affect Younger People?

Most people associate hearing loss with old age instead of the main contributing factor-which is noise. And if there is one thing that young people love, it’s loud music.

Everywhere you go, people are wearing earbuds, headphones or blasting loud music on their home or car music system. Some spend their days playing games with their headphones tuned to full volume.

Loud music is now considered part of growing up, whether it’s at home, in concerts, personal listening devices, etc. The sad part is that they ignore all warning signs under the guise of enjoying their youth. 

Causes of hearing loss in young adults 

Since the main focus is teens and young adults, age-related hearing loss isn’t considered a major contributing factor. However, the causes discussed below may affect you:

1. Genetics 

Hearing loss can run in the family through genetic inheritance. Some of the children born with inherited hearing loss are also accompanied by other symptoms such as loss of vision. Others are non-syndromic, which means that their hearing loss isn’t associated with other symptoms.

In some cases, parents with no hearing loss can give birth to children with hearing loss due to gene mutation

2. Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL)

This is among the leading causes of hearing loss in young people. If you expect to know when you’re experiencing noise induced hearing loss, you probably won’t. This is because it’s typically caused by repeated actions or years of exposure. 

In most cases, you won’t realize that you have a hearing issue until someone points it out or after diagnosis. If the cause is blasting loud music on your headphones, you’ll probably get a new pair that’s louder.

NIHL is becoming a concern due to technological and industrial advancements. Almost everywhere you go, there are cars, trains, traffic, loud music systems, and concerts every week. NIKL typically affects people working in the military, law enforcement, factories, aviation, music industry, lawn maintenance, etc.

It’s almost impossible to escape the noise pollution, and when you do, it’s at home or work listening to music on your headphones for hours. An explosion might result in a temporary hearing loss, but it often clears after some time.

Hearing loss prevention 

Although the world is riddled with noise pollution, you can prevent hearing loss by following the tips listed below.

1. Avoid loud noises 

When you’re in your teens, 20s, and 30s, loud noises are part of enjoying life. However, if you prefer to retain your hearing ability even in your old age, you might want to distance yourself from loud noise. 

Know your limits, and always avoid sound levels that you’re not comfortable with. If you must attend concerts, sports gatherings, festivals, etc., get a pair of earplugs to prevent hearing loss.

2. Limit the use of earbuds 

Earbuds will help you isolate yourself from the world and enjoy quality music. However, people often blast loud music on these earbuds despite them being as close to the earbuds as possible. 

Start by limit the use of earbuds and even headphones to the recommended 60/60. This means that you can listen to music at 60% volume for 60 minutes. Doing this will help reduce the risk of hearing loss associated with headphones and earbuds. 

3. Get your hearing tested 

Hearing is often overlooked during regular checkups as most people prioritize dental, vision, cancer, and other kinds of tests. People don’t ignore hearing testing intentionally; it’s just that physicians rarely recommend it.

In addition, people don’t notice as their hearing deteriorates until it’s too late. Make hearing testing part of your annual checkups or try an online hearing test. For example, Phonak Online Hearing Test offers a 3-minute test that will offer an overview of your hearing state.  

Such tests are accurate, and the results are sent via your email. In case you’re experiencing hearing loss, they can guide you on what to do next.

Wrapping up 

Yes, you can suffer from hearing loss even at a young age. However, you can prevent it by following the tips listed above and consult an audiologist. Get custom earplugs if you want to attend loud gatherings such as concerts, sports stadiums, etc. Take every precaution you can to protect your hearing.