This October, Protect Your Hearing Month, we aim to raise awareness about the dangers of excessive noise exposure and how to keep your hearing healthy! Many people equate hearing loss with getting older, but it can also be caused by high noise exposure. Hearing loss can be avoided in some circumstances if you have the proper knowledge and training. As a result, it’s critical to understand how noise affects hearing and adopt hearing loss prevention strategies as soon as possible.
Any unwanted sound regarded as unpleasant, loud, or disturbing to hearing is referred to as noise. It can be as quiet as a clock ticking or as loud as a plane taking off. Decibels are a unit of measurement for sound (dB). In the acoustic realm, a decibel is a unit of measurement for sound power or loudness.
Hearing loss can be avoided, but severe hearing loss is irreversible. Excessive noise exposure might cause temporary hearing loss, which will disappear once the noise subsides. However, some noise and long-term exposure to harsh noise can cause permanent hearing loss.
Hearing loss and Gen-Z/Millennials
Hearing loss is typically thought to be a condition that occurs as people age. However, a worrisome trend is emerging: an increasing number of young individuals are experiencing hearing loss. According to studies, around 10% of millennials and 17% of Gen-Z suffer hearing loss. Employers are concerned about this increase since hearing loss might hinder job performance. Why is this pattern emerging? Here are some of the reasons why millennials and Gen-Z workers have hearing loss.
Hearing loss can occur for a variety of reasons but the most common among young people is noise. When people are exposed to loud noises regularly, they develop hearing loss. Listening to loud music with headphones might be a favorite pastime for many millennials and Gen-Z adults but the hairs in the inner ear can be easily damaged and cannot be replaced. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 million adults between the ages of 20 and 69 have hearing loss due to noise exposure.
A louder world
Medical specialists claim that our louder world has caused hearing loss in millennials and Gen-Z employees. Younger adults love attending concerts and shows, as well as dancing to loud music and sounds, in addition to listening to personal music on digital devices. Sound at events is louder than ever, according to noise experts, thanks to new amplification technologies.
Employees in corporate offices and remote work environments use earbuds or headphones for long periods of time. Phone interactions, online team meetings, and webinars are fed into the ear with these same earbuds. Remote workers may also play music to drown out other noises. Many millennials and Gen-Z employees are unaware of when the volume is too high. Here’s a tip to pass along to your coworkers: The level is too high if persons standing nearby can hear sounds from their earphones or headphones.
How to protect your hearing
Hearing experts advise people of all ages to protect their hearing by doing the following:
- Be responsible with earbuds: When using earbuds or headphones, keep the noise at 85 dB or lower. If you’re listening at a greater volume, such as 100 dB, take a 15-minute break to relax your hearing.
- Use noise-canceling earphones: These make you less likely to crank the volume up in loud environments like subway carts.
- Protect yourself: When attending events with loud sounds, use earplugs. Sitting or standing near speaker systems is not a good idea.
- Stop smoking. According to studies, smokers are 60 percent more likely than nonsmokers to acquire hearing loss.
Take a hearing test!
You should obtain a hearing test regularly to retain an accurate and measured record of your hearing. Even if you don’t think you have any noticeable hearing loss symptoms, it’s a good idea to have your hearing evaluated by a hearing professional.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, we strongly advise you to schedule a test very away:
- Are you having difficulty hearing conversations?
- Are you frequently exposed to loud noises?
- Are you hearing ringing in your ears regularly?
If you have answered yes to any of the above, make an appointment for a hearing test with us now!