In days gone by, parents told their kids that sitting too close to the TV would make you go blind, and that using your headphones too often would make you go deaf. But in our new, smartphone-addicted world, new evidence suggests that overusing headphones really can lead to hearing loss in young people.
In a new report, doctors in North Carolina say that they’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of millennials suffering from early-onset hearing loss. And according to Dr. Sloan Manning, the medical director of Novant Health urgent care in Winston Salem, loud music pumped through headphones and earbuds are a major contributing factor.
“The earbuds are potentially more dangerous because the speaker is actually closer to your eardrum,” Dr. Manning told FOX8. “The damage is permanent, unfortunately.”
One college student told the station, “The beats and then the music have to be loud in order for you to feel it.”
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders recently reported that 15% of Americans aged 20 through 69 (26 million people) have high-frequency hearing loss because of noise exposure. Not only that, but 10% of U.S. adults (25 million more Americans) has experienced tinnitus that lasts five minutes or more in the past year.
Any increase in hearing loss among young people is bad news, because even mild hearing loss will cause young people to miss out on half of what is said in a classroom. And instead of being glued to their earbuds 24/7, young people will be hooked on digital hearing aids instead.
Fortunately, there are new options for young people vulnerable to hearing loss. It’s never been easier for parents to find custom hearing protection for kids, but most health insurance covers appointments and hearing tests with qualified Virginia hearing consultants.
Plus, the technology used in affordable digital hearing aids has progressed in the past five years. It’s now possible to buy hearing equipment that’s nearly invisible to others.
And here’s a feature that millennials are sure to love, even the most affordable digital hearing aids can now connect wirelessly to smartphones and other devices.