Is Emerging Technology Boosting Hearing Loss?

Hearing and balance are critical to how we conduct our daily lives, but experts now warn excessive use of cell phones and other audio devices can cause acoustic trauma, which is damaging to the inner ear and causes hearing los

According to most audiologists marion county in young adults are at a higher risks of developing hearing problems because they use these devices non-stop. About 10 percent of the population experiences some form of hearing problems, but experts say those numbers grow about 1700 a year, and a lot has to do with technological advances.

Many people enjoy listening to loud music but when that noise becomes very loud and long lasting, it damages cells that form the auditory nerve. They collect the vibrations produced by the sounds and transmit electrical signals to the brain. After prolonged listening to loud music, the brain stops identifying those signals.

What Decibels Are Harmful to Hearing?

About 30 percent of children and young adults are regularly exposed to intense volumes that go above 85 decibels, which can cause hearing loss. The main problem, say Indiana audiologists, is the lack of awareness in young people about the impact of loud noise to their hearing. Normal decibel levels are between 40 and 55. Nowadays, we already know our hearing will normally diminish as we get older, traditionally known as presbycusis. It’s a normal age-related progression but adding on any exposure to an intense level of noise could speed up a deterioration of hearing.

What Is Age-Related Hearing Loss?

Presbycusis is the progressive loss of hearing, associated with aging. In general, 80 percent of people over 75 have presbycusis, however, the first symptoms can appear as early as 50. But detecting it early is the key to a better quality of life. Although the main cause of presbycusis is aging, there are other key factors that influence its onset, like chronic disease (diabetes, hypertension), medications or genetic factors. Doctors point out that although we know with aging, there is some deterioration of hearing, we often make it worse with harmful practices, like listening to loud music.

The most common treatment for age-related hearing loss consists of the use of hearing aids, and/or treating an external cause that impacts the hearing loss. But most importantly, audiologists say having a hearing exam can help determine the best practice for treating the problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 100 million young people around the world could be at risk of suffering from hearing loss due to harmful hearing practices and emerging audio technology.

Can You Prevent Hearing Loss?

Experts say noise has become another form of environmental pollution. And as with everything in life it’s just a matter of choosing to limit or reverse it. Limit individual use of headphones, and limit exposure to intense noise at specific venues, like dance clubs. Also, having regular hearing tests will alert an audiologist if hearing has been affected, and a treatment plan will then be developed to remedy the problem.