When it comes to hearing loss, most of us believe that hearing loss is associated with elderly people. But that always may not be the case. Recently a study by World Health organization(WHO) shows that as many as 1.1 billion young adults and teenagers are at risk of hearing loss owing to factors unsafe use of personal audio devices and noise induced hearing loss. Many of the youngsters listen to loud music on headphones. They also often visit discos, clubs and parties, where loud music is played. If you fall in that category, then you need to be careful. You must take steps to prevent noise induced hearing loss. Viewing this as a major concern, March 3 has been marked as International Ear Care Day.
WHO’s Recommendations regarding Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Another study was conducted in young teenagers and young adults in the age group of 12- 35 years in middle and high-income countries. It indicated that amongst them nearly 50 percent are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices. Besides which 40 percent are exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues. WHO recommends that at your workplace the highest permissible level of noise exposure is 85 dB for a maximum duration of eight hours a day. Whereas for places like nightclubs, discos and sporting events the same is 100 dB.
What is Noise Induced Hearing Loss?
Noise induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the tiny hearing cells in the inner ear. This type of damage occurs as a result of over exposure to excess noise over prolonged periods. This is a permanent damage which is also known as Sensorineural hearing loss. The hearing loss associated with caused by such type of prolonged noise exposure is generally irreversible in nature. Now with so much of evidence of the risk of this type of hearing loss in youngsters you may be more vulnerable and need to steps for prevention. In fact according to WHO nearly half of the cases of hearing loss worldwide are avoidable.
What you need to be careful of as a Youngster?
With so much of enthusiasm in you as a youngster it is but natural for you to be enthused by loud music. So there may be a tendency within you to turn on the volume of your personal hearing device, every time you listen to music. Moreover you may be in the habit of frequently visiting discos, clubs and various sporting events where loud music is being played. You need to be conscious of the fact that the loud music is damaging your inner ear. Not only that the damage being caused is likely to be of a permanent nature as the damage in most cases is irreversible.
As a teenager or youngster to protect your ears you need to keep a low volume on your hearing device. You may wear earplugs when visiting noisy places like discos and clubs. You must ensure that these ear plugs fit properly to cut down on the excessive sound at these venues. According to WHO, you must also use noise-cancelling earphones. WHO also suggests that you can limit the time spent engaged in noisy activities by taking short listening breaks and restricting the daily use of personal audio devices to less than one hour. In fact to mark this year’s International Ear Care Day, on 3rd March, WHO also launched the “Make Listening Safe” initiative to draw attention to the dangers of unsafe listening and promote safer practices.
In case you suspect that you are suffering from hearing loss, then you must immediately consult a renowned audiologist. Bengal Speech and Hearing is one of the leading chains of clinics offering treatment for hearing loss in Kolkata and throughout India. For further details visit our website.