1.1 billion Young People are at risk of Hearing Loss

1.1 billion Young People are at risk of Hearing Loss

The WHO (World Health Organisation) has highlighted that 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to the use of their personal devices such as smartphones and being in overly noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs. This doesn’t come as a surprise as we have previously noticed this trend regarding the use of headphones and ear pieces (Earbuds causing early hearing damage). The huge rise in personal technology in recent years, especially since the introduction of smart phones has meant that young people are being exposed to noise on a nearly permanent basis with little to no awareness of the damage this can do.

The WHO analysed data from studies in middle to high income countries to identify any trends regarding hearing loss. The study found that in teenagers and young adults aged 12-35 years, around 50% are exposing themselves to high levels of noise through devices and 40% in entertainment venues. The levels of this type of exposure should not exceed 85 decibels for 8 hours or 100dB for 15 minutes. The noise exposure damages the inner cells causing either hearing loss or in some cases tinnitus.

WHO has issued recommendations to reduce the chance of hearing loss, especially within young adults. They have advised that keeping volume levels at the recommended device setting and potentially taking breaks when situated within an excessively noisy environment. One of the major issues they address is the need of Governments to have a more focused approach towards the awareness of hearing loss. This can be done through public information campaigns and possibly even enforcing stricter regulations on recreational noise.

Dr Etienne Krug, WHO Director for the Department for Management of No communicable Disease, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention commented with the following:

“As they go about their daily lives doing what they enjoy, more and more young people are placing themselves at risk of hearing loss. They should be aware that once you lose your hearing, it won’t come back. Taking simple preventive actions will allow people to continue to enjoy themselves without putting their hearing at risk”.

At Roberts Jackson Solicitors we deal with individuals who suffer from hearing loss (NIHL) due to their previous working environments. In many cases they note that the symptoms of hearing loss includes ringing or buzzing in the ears, struggling with conversations and a general issue with appliance volumes. The symptoms of hearing loss can lead to many different health and mental issues such as problems sleeping and stress. Nearly all these people would note that they were not aware of the damage that noise was having on their hearing and if they could, they would have made the right changes.

[1] “1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss”, Press Release, WHO, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/ear-care/en/
[2] “One Billion Teenagers And Youngsters At Risk Of Suffering From Hearing Loss”, Carolyn Martin, Daily Science Journal, http://dailysciencejournal.com/one-billion-teenagers-and-youngsters-at-risk-of-suffering-from-hearing-loss/21505/
[3] “Why 1 billion could be at risk for hearing loss”, CBS News, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-1-billion-could-be-at-risk-for-hearing-loss/