Although age related hearing loss is by far the most prevalent type of impairment, there is growing concern about the rapidly rising number of younger people who are experiencing hearing loss. Most often hearing impairment in younger people is milder than in senior adults, but the consequences of hearing loss are the same.
Not only is it difficult to fully experience what is going on around them, but young people tend to shy away from groups their age when they canâ€™t take part in conversations. Young people need to feel as though they belong â€“ as though they are part of the group.
Whilst some of the common causes of hearing loss in young people are congenital (hearing loss at birth) others are sustained from injury and illness. Today, there is growing concern over hearing loss in young people as a result of loud music they subject themselves to.
Statistics from the Royal National Institute for Deaf People
Even though roughly 70% of all people with hearing loss are at least 60 years of age, the number of young people with hearing loss is continuing to grow. As of just a few short years ago it was estimated that approximately 840 babies are born each year with a significant level of hearing impairment.
Those figures further say that one of every one-thousand children is deaf by the age of three. However, there are no actual statistics in regards to the number of young adults sustaining hearing loss due to loud music in the UK. The best we can do at present is base our estimates on studies done in the United States.
In the USA it is thought that a minimum of 5 million children under the age of 19 have sustained some amount of damage due to loud noises. Noise induced hearing loss is just as prevalent here in the UK and the level of impairment is directly proportionate to the level of volume and the duration of the childâ€™s exposure.
What Can Be Done to Reduce the Risk of Noise Induced Hearing Loss?
Since this type of hearing impairment is, for the most part, permanent, more and more parents are questioning what can be done to reduce the risk our children are exposed to. The following tips may prove helpful if you are the parent or teacher of children over that age of six or seven.
- Awareness â€“ It is said that learning begins at home and this is so important when it comes to preventing hearing loss. Teach your children about the wonders of the delicate hearing devices they are born with so that they understand the importance of guarding against noise induced hearing loss.
- Precaution â€“ Once your child has been taught about the workings of the ear, help them to understand the importance of taking precautions. Of course it isnâ€™t always possible to steer clear of germs, help them understand that communicable diseases can also lead to hearing impairment and then teach them the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
- Protection â€“ Those children who are intent upon going to concerts or who will be exposed to loud noises on a regular basis should be fitted with adequate protection. Earplugs can be the one most important item you can purchase to help your child avoid the risk of noise related hearing loss.
- Music Equipment & DevicesÂ â€“ Even as recently as a generation ago, parents were worried about their children going deaf from listening to loud music. With the dawning of digital technology, that music is becoming increasingly loud as bands have learned how to reduce feedback. Whether using headphones or going to a concert, your children need to understand the necessity of maintaining a healthy volume (headphones) or distance from speakers (concerts) so as to avoid damage to their delicate ears.
Whilst there is a growing concern about hearing loss in young people, we can do our part in helping to teach them alternatives. For those who have already sustained some amount of impairment it is even more important to prevent further loss. Awareness, precaution, protection and music devices should be the focus of hearing loss prevention in young people throughout the UK.
Bio: Hearing loss in young people is a concern of Adamâ€™s as he is a father of two young children himself. As a writer for www.yourhearing.co.uk, he encourages other parents to learn what they can do to prevent the risk of noise induced hearing loss in their children.