Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Teens and Young Adults

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Teen and Young Adult Risks for Noise Induced hearing Loss

Being exposed to high levels of noise for even small periods of time can have a serious effect on a teen's or young adult's hearing. Because of "time-intensity trade-off", just a few minutes of noise at 100 dB is roughly equivalent to a few hours 75 dB noise level exposure. Much of the noise experienced by teens is leisure noise.

According to data gathered by the University of Wyoming, it is estimated that 10 to 15 million people in the United States are affected by noise-induced hearing loss, and an estimated 12.5% of children under the age of 19 have experienced permanent hearing loss due to noise exposure. Exposure to noise above 85 dB is the level at which immediate hearing loss begins to occur, but many personal music devices have the ability to reach at least 95 dB, and most youth listen to music on their devices with the sound at 85 dB or higher.

According to a study from ResearchGate, leisure noise exposures include exposure to loud music or even participation in non-musical activities. The major sources of the former activities are attendance at live concerts, club music, and use of personal music players, as well as exposure to other events where noise is extreme, such as rallies, sporting events, and other environments where crowd noise can reach dangerous levels.

To protect against hearing loss, parents are encouraged to check their children's earbuds and headphones and seek out options that limit maximum noise levels to 75dB or lower. It's also recommended to find noise cancelling options that make it easier for their teens to hear music without setting it at the maximum sound level for their device. College students and other young adults should take hearing protection with them to events and concerts where high levels of noise are expected.

Hearing loss can be mitigated with hearing aids. Accuquest has a wide range of hearing aid option.

Being exposed to high levels of noise for even small periods of time can have a serious effect on a teen’s or young adult’s hearing. Much of the noise experienced by teens is leisure noise.