Hearing loss becoming silent epidemic

Most people don’t get their hearing checked like they get an annual physical or eye exam mostly because of the association of hearing loss with aging. Hearing loss doesn’t only affect older people.

With earbuds and ear bleeding sounds from video game headsets, more kids, teens and young adults are suffering permanent hearing loss. The Journal of Pediatrics reports 12.5 percent of kids between the ages of six and 19 having hearing loss from listening to loud music, particularly through earbuds at unsafe volumes. Some of today’s video games have noise levels approaching 120 decibels, the equivalent of a loud rock concert or sandblasting.

Audiologist Laurel Donaldson of OSF HealthCare’s Illinois Neurological Institute in Peoria says most people wait seven years to get their hearing checked from the first time they notice a change in their ability to hear. She points out there’s a bit of irony in the fact people don’t want to appear old by wearing a hearing aid, yet when hearing loss is treated it improves communication and keeps people feeling younger because they are more engaged.

Make a commitment to get a hearing test for you or insist on one for someone you love.   

Source: OSF HealthCare