Many of us believe that hearing loss usually occurs in the older generation. However, in today’s era, with changing audio consumption habits it is the younger generation that is at a higher risk of hearing loss. In today’s digital era, we like to do even the most basic activities like jogging, cycling, and doing simple household tasks with our earphones or headphones on. Moreover, our hectic work schedules which consist of numerous online meetings and calls and other entertainment activities involve extensive use of headphones.
Reports Highlighting Key Causes of Hearing Loss in Young Adults
Before we head towards discussing the key reasons that cause hearing loss, let’s understand the hearing loss situation with the help of an example related to eyesight-related issues. According to the WHO reports, Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have one or the other issues related to eye-sight. WHO has also stated, that at least 1 billion or almost half of these cases could have been easily prevented. What caused such a huge rise in cases related to eyesight? Clearly, it was due to the increased screen time due to the higher availability of mobile phones, desktops, and laptops across the world. This case study gives us a clear insight into the surge of issues related to hearing loss across the world. If we continue to ignore these warning signs, soon we will see a spiralling rise in cases related to hearing impairment, just like we saw in case of eyesight issues across the world.
A recent study by WHO has indicated that in the last four years audio consumption has increased by 2000%. Another report by WHO has predicted, that by 2050 at least 1 in 4 individuals will have some degree of hearing loss. Several other studies by WHO also indicate that due to the increased unhealthy audio consumption over 1 billion young adults are at the risk of avoidable hearing loss. These reports clearly point out the severity of the threat that our favorite noise-canceling and high bass headphones pose to the ear health of the most productive section of the population.
Clinical researches also show that one of the most common causes of hearing loss is the same as it is for older adults which is noise exposure causing noise-induced hearing loss. They also show a sharp increase in the unsafe levels of sound across the world to which generation of millennials, the Y Gen and Gen-Xers have been exposed. They point to a host of reasons like binge-watching, listening to loud music on earphones, apart from workplace noise, and loud traffic noise too.
Even though amongst these above-stated reasons that cause hearing loss in young adults, not every cause can be entirely rectified, some of these causes can be avoided by simply changing our listening habits.
Difficulties faced by Young Adults with Hearing Loss
Younger adults with hearing loss face several unique challenges as they enter into college, employment, social relationships, etc. Studies have found that loss of productivity due to hearing impairment costs billions to the world economy, every year. Moreover, the impact of hearing disability upon them is far more than older adults as even if they do find a means of livelihood, the prolonged duration of social exclusion and inability to effectively communicate affects them psychologically. Their lack of social participation often leads to them suffering from depression and hypertension.
Prevention of Hearing Loss in Young Adults
Although today there are several clinical interventions and methods through which a hearing-impaired person can be treated, research shows that hearing loss can be avoided to a great degree.
It has been found that in children and young adults nearly 60% of hearing loss is due to avoidable causes. These causes can be prevented by the effective implementation of public health measures like pre-natal and post-natal care vaccines, stringent sound limits imposed on mobile phones and television, a ban on loud music in public, and the adoption of ear health-friendly audio devices.
Today, there are many innovative state-of-the-art audio devices that prevent hearing loss and also provide innovative hearing care to those with hearing loss. Some of such solutions are being made by WeHear Innovations Pvt. Ltd. With its unbridled innovative efforts, the mission of the team WeHear has been to build an ear health-friendly way of hearing. With the help of some state-of-the-art audio devices like WeHear OX working on Bone Conduction Technology, WeHear has dedicated itself to the mission of creating awareness about the adoption of ear health-friendly practices.
The message that WeHear gives is loud and clear, #HearSafeBeSafe.