Hearing Loss in Young Adults

200299337-001Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States.

Studies show that the number of people  worldwide who are at risk for hearing loss is growing and this includes a substantial number of young adults.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO),” around 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults face this risk due to exposure to unsafe levels of sound. ”

WHO explains, that “the amount of damage that is done depends on multiple factors – the duration of exposure to the sound, how intense or loud the sound is and how frequently exposure to unsafe levels of sound occurs.”

Doctors classify hearing loss by degree:

  • Mild hearing loss: One-on-one conversations are fine, but it’s hard to catch every word when there’s background noise.
  • Moderate hearing loss: You often need to ask people to repeat themselves during conversations in person and on the phone.
  • Severe hearing loss: Following a conversation is almost impossible unless you have a hearing aid.
  • Profound hearing loss: You can’t hear when other people speaking unless they are extremely loud. You can’t understand what they’re saying without a hearing aid or cochlear implant.(http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hearing-loss-causes-symptoms-treatment#1)

Teenagers and young adults can do many things to help prevent hearing loss. “Measures as simple as keeping the volume of personal audio devices down to safe levels. Wearing ear plugs when visiting an environment with loud sound levels is important, as is limiting the amount of time spent engaging in activities with potentially unsafe sound levels.(“http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290185.php)

It is important for young adults and teens to keep in mind damage done to their hearing is irreversible. “They should be aware that once you lose your hearing, it won’t come back.” Dr. Etienne Krug  WHO director for the Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention.