Safeguarding Hearing With This is Something Even the Young Should do

Young woman not protecting her hearing in a loud subway.

Hearing loss is traditionally considered an older person’s issue – as a matter of fact, it’s estimated that nearly 50% of people aged 75 and older copes with some kind of hearing loss. But despite the fact that in younger people it’s completely preventable, studies show that they too are at risk of developing hearing loss.

One study of 479 freshmen across three high schools discovered that 34% of those students showed symptoms of hearing loss. The cause? The concept is that mobile devices with earbuds connected are contributing to the issue. And younger people are not the only ones at risk.

What causes hearing loss in people under 60?

If other people can hear your music, it’s too loud and that’s a basic rule for teenagers and everybody. If you listen to sounds louder than 85dB (about the volume of a vacuum cleaner) for extended periods of time, your hearing can be damaged. Most mobile devices can go well above 105dB. Utilized in this way, 4 minutes is enough to cause injury.

While this sounds like common sense stuff, the reality is that kids spend upwards of two hours every day on their devices, frequently with their earphones or earbuds plugged in. They’re playing games, watching videos, or listening to music during this time. And this will only increase over the next few years, if we’re to believe current research. The release of dopamine acts in a similar way to addictive drugs and studies have shown that smartphones and other screens can trigger the release of dopamine. Kids’ hearing will suffer as it becomes harder to get them to put down their devices.

Young people are at risk of hearing loss

Regardless of age, hearing loss obviously presents numerous difficulties. Younger individuals, however, face added problems with regards to academics, after-school activities, and even job prospects. Hearing loss at a young age leads to problems with paying attention and comprehending concepts during class, which puts the student at a disadvantage. It also makes playing sports much more difficult, since so much of sports involves listening to coaches and teammates giving instructions and calling plays. Young adults and teenagers joining the workforce can experience unnecessary roadblocks caused by hearing loss.

Social issues can also persist as a result of hearing loss. Kids with damaged hearing have a more difficult time connecting with peers, which frequently leads to social and emotional issues that require therapy. Mental health problems are prevalent in people of all ages who cope with hearing loss because they often feel isolated and experience anxiety and depression. Mental health treatment and hearing loss management frequently go together and this is particularly true with kids and teenagers in their early developmental years.

Preventing hearing loss when you’re young

The first rule to observe is the 60/60 rule – devices and earbuds should only be used for 60 minutes a day at 60% or less of the maximum volume. If your kids listen to headphones at 60% and you can still hear the sound while sitting close to them, you should have them turn it down until you can no longer hear it.

It also might be smart to change back to over-the-ear style headphones and quit using earbuds. Compared to traditional headphones, earbuds put inside of the ear canal can actually create 5 to 10 extra decibels.

Generally, though, do what you can to control your child’s exposure to loud sounds throughout the day. Try to make their home time free of headphone use because you can’t control what they’re doing while they’re not home. And if you do suspect your child is dealing with hearing loss, you should have them evaluated as soon as possible.


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

Stop struggling to hear conversations. Come see us today. Call or Text