Hearing is a sensory perception people often take for granted, but it is far more crucial than one can imagine. It facilitates communication, fosters learning, and helps develop speech and language. Hearing impairment can affect your confidence, academic performance, work productivity, and overall quality of life.
Unfortunately, auditory impairment is not just an age-related issue. According to CDC statistics, an estimated 5.2 million (12.5%) children and adolescents aged 6–19 years suffer from permanent damage to their hearing due to noise exposure. The number is 26 million (17%) for adults aged 20–69. That’s only the tip of the iceberg because millions suffer from the problem due to genetics.
Young people need to be extra vigilant about the condition because they have decades of learning and working ahead. The good thing is that only a few precautions can help you preserve your sense of hearing for the long haul.
Here are a few tips for young adults to help them lower the risk of hearing loss:
Know the Potential Culprits
Before devising strategies to reduce the risk of auditory impairment, you need to be aware of the potential factors that may cause it. Surveys show that nearly 2-3 out of every 1,000 children in the US suffer from a detectable level of hearing loss by birth. Millions of young adults are affected due to excessive noise exposure. Injuries, allergies, infections, and nutritional deficiencies are other culprits.
A lesser-known factor is the use of ototoxic medicines such as antibiotics, chemotherapy agents, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, acetaminophen, and antimalarials. Tepezza, the novel drug for Thyroid Eye Disease, is the latest addition to the list. The ongoing Tepezza lawsuit brings more attention to the ill effects of this drug.
According to TorHoerman Law, victims can bring up a compensation claim against the manufacturer, Horizon Therapeutics for failing to warn them about the risk. No one deserves to lose a sensory perception only because a drug manufacturer failed to fulfill their duty of care.
Mind the Noise
Since noise is theprimary contributor to hearing impairment in young adults, limiting exposure to loud environments is crucial. Surprisingly, 16% of adults worldwide suffer from hearing loss due to occupational noise. Workplace noise can affect you for hours daily, necessitating proper precautions such as using protective equipment.
Attending concerts and sporting events can also increase your risks. You can consider skipping a few events to cut down the threat to your ears. Also, use earplugs when attending loud events. Try taking breaks in quieter areas during the event to ensure that your ears get a chance to recover from the loud noise.
Also read: Why Do I Hear Crackling in My Ear
Follow Safe Listening Practices with Personal Devices
Concerts and noisy workplaces are not the only causes of hearing loss in young adults. At times, you may be responsible for your woes. You may be at high risk if you spend hours listening to your favorite music or podcast on personal audio devices such as earphones and headphones. The research underscores the threats of perpetuated exposure to higher decibels with these devices.
Using a high-quality, ear-safe device is your first line of defense against device-induced impairment. Also, follow the 60/60 rule to protect your ears. It states that you should not listen at more than 60% of the maximum volume and beyond 60 minutes at a time. These basic precautions can keep hearing loss at bay.
Get Regular Hearing Check-ups
Did you know that hearing screenings are as important as eye tests and dental check-ups? According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, adults should be screened by an audiologist at least once a decade. People over 50 should visit a specialist every three years. Not getting timely diagnosis and treatment can aggravate the problem beyond control.
Many young adults undermine the significance of routine hearing tests, thinking that only aging people suffer from auditory issues. However, early detection is critical to managing the problem and preventing further damage. Besides regular check-ups with an audiologist, schedule an appointment if you notice changes in your hearing.
The Bottom Line
Hearing loss is not an age-specific concern because even young adults are not exempt from the potential risks. Failing to take precautions to safeguard your auditory capacity and address issues sooner rather than later can land you in a problem.
You should take these proactive steps to reduce the risk of hearing loss right from a young age. Additionally, follow the basics, such as a healthy diet, adequate rest and noise breaks, and keeping your ears clean. Investing in your hearing health early pays off in the long run, ensuring you can enjoy a vibrant world for years ahead.
Medical Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult a healthcare expert.
Dr. Kelly Han is a seasoned medical professional with a passion for holistic wellness and integrative health. Based in San Francisco, her expertise spans across various domains of health, from fitness and skincare to oral health and weight management.
Understanding the intricate connections between different aspects of health, Dr. Han believes in a comprehensive approach. Whether it’s the latest skincare regimen, effective weight loss strategies, or understanding hormonal imbalances, she’s dedicated to providing readers with evidence-based advice and actionable insights on a wide array of health topics.
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