Teenage Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is an older person’s problem, right?  No, the leading cause of hearing loss is noise, not age.  Damage from everyday noise is growing among those in their teens and 20s. Younger Americans are exposed to a barrage of noise from concerts, movie theaters, loud video games, and personal listening devices.  Yet, excessive noise exposure is completely preventable!




Warning signs for Noise Induced Hearing Loss include:

  • ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • the feeling that sounds seem muffled
  • difficulty understanding speech
  • difficulty following conversation when there is background noise


An acceptable guideline to limiting overexposure to this group from personal listening devices can be the 60/60 Rule, that is, ensure the volume is turned up no more than 60 per cent (or just past half way) for 60 mins at a time then give your ears a rest.

Other ways to prevent NIHL include: 

  • when using personal listening devices – if the person sitting beside you can hear it, then it’s too loud
  • wear ear plugs/hearing protection when the sound is expected to be loud, like concerts, dance clubs, sporting events or work environments
  • give your ears a break from time to time – remove the sound source, reduce time spent in noisy environments, or increase the distance between you and the sound source.  (AboutKidsHealth.com)
CDC.gov suggests you:
  • Understand that noise-induced hearing loss can lead to communication difficulties, learning difficulties, pain or ringing in the ears (tinnitus), distorted or muffled hearing, and an inability to hear some environmental sounds and warning signals
  • Identify sources of loud sounds (such as gas-powered lawnmowers, snowmobiles, power tools, gunfire, or music) that can contribute to hearing loss and try to reduce exposure
  • Adopt behaviors to protect their hearing:
    • Avoid or limit exposure to excessively loud sounds
    • Turn down the volume of music systems
    • Move away from the source of loud sounds when possible
    • Use hearing protection devices when it is not feasible to avoid exposure to loud sounds or reduce them to a safe level
  • Seek hearing evaluation by a licensed audiologist or other qualified professional, especially if there is concern about potential hearing loss



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