We may believe that hearing loss is a problem that affects only the elderly population. Unfortunately, nothing can be further from the truth. Hearing loss is now found in between 14% to 16% of adults between the ages of 20-69. The United Nations as well as the World Health Organization report that hearing loss can affect in addition to 1 billion people between 12-35 years of age worldwide.
Around 15%-30% of children aged between 6-19 years of age have already been diagnosed with hearing loss. Johns Hopkins recently reported that by 2060 we will have approximately 73 million people suffering from hearing loss in America alone.
Research suggests that the age for those suffering from hearing loss tends to get younger and younger each year. This is an alarming finding, since it can no longer be assumed that hearing loss is a thing to worry about several years from now. It could be happening to you right now without your realization.
Thanks to modern technology, our world has become increasingly smaller and more dependent on electronic modes of communication. This means that we are almost glued to our headphones on a daily basis. Sometimes we are simply rocking out to our favorite tunes, at other times we are in engaging conversations with our best buddy. During our leisure time we like to relax and watch our favorite TV programs with our headphones plugged in. The problem with all these seemingly harmless activities is that they constantly expose you to unsafe levels of noise.
Our ears need a break every now and then, and spending hours on the phone, tablets, or personal audio devices can be detrimental to our hearing. The problem is that even the younger generation is slowly becoming addicted to these electronic traps and is also found using their very own set of tiny headphones to watch their favorite cartoons or play their favorite games.
The problem with taking precautions against hearing loss is that many of us are unaware of what causes hearing loss in the first place. We may feel like the volume we listen to our favorite programs in is safe, but the amount of time we spend listening to anything can take its toll on hearing too. We may believe that only loud noises damage our hearing, when in reality even moderate levels of noise can damage hearing if you are exposed to them for extended periods of time.
The younger generation is usually carefree, and often likes to pump up the volume on their favorite electronic device. This often leads to hearing damage in young people. It is therefore important to teach safe listening skills to the younger generation.
Enforce the rule of 60/60, where you teach them to turn up the volume level to a maximum of 60% and listen to their headphones for a maximum time of 60 minutes at a stretch. Hearing loss is an irreversible condition. As such, prevention is always better than the cure.
Dr. Hubik received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Born and raised in this area, Dr. Hubik grew up in Anton, Texas and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. Dr. Hubik opened Cornerstone Audiology in March of 2007. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of this community.