Hearing Loss in Teens – Audiologist Serving Oroville CA

Hearing Loss in Teens – Audiologist Oroville CA

Many people think of hearing loss as something that happens to older people. While it’s true that many people accumulate hearing damage as they age, young people are not immune to hearing damage. In fact, hearing loss in teens is far more common than most people believe.

One study found that one-third of all teenagers studied had some degree of hearing loss. While many of them may not notice the effects of hearing loss in their everyday lives just yet, these young people are at risk for significant hearing loss later in life.

What causes hearing loss in teens? – audiologist Oroville CA

Loud noises can cause hearing damage, especially when they’re sustained for a long period of time. In the modern world, many teens wear earbuds frequently. This allows them to listen to music or podcasts to pass the time while walking around campus or riding the bus, for example.

Unfortunately, earbuds do a terrible job of blocking out ambient noise from the environment. This means that teens often turn up the volume on their earbuds to be quite loud, so that they’ll be able to hear their music or podcast over the ambient noise. This can be very damaging to the hearing. (This isn’t just a problem for teens, of course. Many adults also do the same thing, putting their hearing at risk.)

In general, if you can’t comfortably talk over the sound you’re hearing, it’s too loud. If you talk to your teen, and he or she can’t hear you over the music or podcast in his or her earbuds, then the sound is too loud and is causing hearing damage.

What can be done about it? – audiologist Oroville CA

The most effective way to protect your hearing is to keep the volume of any sound that you’re listening to at or below a level where you could hear a conversation at the same time. Unfortunately, on a practical level, this would mean that your teen wouldn’t be able to hear his or her music or podcasts much of the time, and many teens (and adults) are not willing to accept this sacrifice.

One good solution is to invest in noise-cancelling earbuds. These are much more effective at blocking out sounds from the environment than are standard earbuds, allowing the teen to hear whatever they’re listening to without cranking up the volume. Although good noise-cancelling earbuds can cost $200 to $300, they can prevent damage to your teen’s hearing that could have lifelong (and expensive) consequences. The cost of hearing aids is greater than that of these earbuds. Also, your own natural hearing is truly priceless.

What about while driving? – audiologist Oroville CA

Noise-cancelling earbuds are generally not a good option while driving. They can make you less aware of what’s happening around your car, such as other vehicles coming toward you or sirens sounding near you, so they can make you less safe while driving. This is why it’s illegal to wear headphones or earbuds while driving in many states. Please don’t wear your noise-cancelling earbuds while driving.

Protect your hearing – audiologist Oroville CA

At any age, it’s important to protect your hearing from noises that are too loud. Once it’s gone, your hearing cannot be regained. Although the technology used in hearing aids has advanced rapidly, hearing aids are still not the same as your natural hearing. Protect your hearing, and encourage your teens to protect theirs.

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