In today’s digital world, people are constantly plugged into their digital devices listening to music, podcasts, videos, and more. With the amount of content constantly being created, there is always something new and exciting to listen to.
Younger generations especially crave this connectivity to the digital world, and don’t want to miss a beat. They often wear headphones and airpods when completing mundane tasks throughout their day including work, exercising, walking, doing chores around the house, etc.
There is nothing wrong with wearing headphones and air pods. Music and other audio content can be great for boosting motivation, inspiration, and encouragement. However, it does become a problem when the way you listen is done unsafely. In other words, listening to audio at a loud volume for an extended period of time. For teenagers and younger generations, this is typically the case.
A recent study conducted by BMJ Global Health Journal shows: more than 1 billion young people could be at risk of facing hearing loss.
Researchers link this to unsafe listening habits including audio played loudly through devices and entertainment venues. Concerts can be very dangerous to hearing health. Performers are certainly at risk, and should always wear ear plugs and protection while playing their music. Instruments produce sounds exceeding 85 dB, which is the maximum level for safe listening. Anything over 85 dB can cause temporary and even permanent hearing loss.
Fans in the audience are also at risk, especially those in the front rows or close to the stage. The farther away you get from the stage, the safer it will be for your hearing. Those who sit in the front row may notice ringing in the ears after the show, otherwise known as tinnitus. Tinnitus can occur after one is exposed to loud sounds for an extended period of time.
According to the study, entertainment venues produce an average noise level of 104 to 112 decibels. Therefore, anyone not wearing ear protection can easily experience tinnitus. In addition, this type of dangerous noise exposure earlier in one’s life may make individuals more susceptible to age-related hearing loss. If you are someone who is a frequent concert goer, you should definitely consider investing in some ear plugs, or selecting seats that are farther away from the stage.
The study also found that young people from the age 12 to 35 using devices such as Mp3 players, and cellphones actively listened to content at 105 decibels. This is an extremely loud volume and it goes well over the level of safe listening (85 dB). Many devices now send notifications to users to warn them that the content they are listening to is too loud. It is important for teens and anyone who receives this notification to turn their volume down immediately.
The most difficult challenge those of us in the hearing health industry face is how to effectively raise awareness on the importance of protecting your ears starting at a young age. Usually, people only start to be concerned about their hearing when they encounter a problem with it. Understanding the dangers and knowing how to be safe while listening to music, attending concerts, or being in any loud environment in general can reduce your chances of experiencing hearing loss later on significantly.
One billion individuals are on track to encounter problems with their hearing later on. It is critical for younger generations to start taking hearing health seriously before it becomes too late.The best way to determine if you are experiencing hearing loss is a hearing test. An audiologist will be able to detect early signs of hearing loss, and provide treatment suited for you. Call 716-674-4188 to schedule an appointment with our expert audiologists at Lake Shore Audiology today.