Hearing loss is a common problem in those over 65 years old. But now, more youngsters and baby boomers are being diagnosed with hearing loss. Exposure to excessive noise levels is the main culprit.
On the top of the list of noise induced hearing loss causes is listening to loud music. It is estimated that 10 million baby boomers suffer from hearing loss, much of which is attributed to attending rock concerts in the beginning of 1960s and 70s. Hearing damage that results from this type of noise often happens gradually and the effects are not known until many years later.
The increased use of technology has been associated with hearing loss in baby boomers. Portable listening technology expanded from the walkman to the MP3 player to the iPod. Many users of these portable devices listen at high volume for long period of time, unaware that their bad listening habits could eventually lead to hearing loss. A recent study found that listening to an iPod on the highest volume level is capable of causing hearing damage after several minutes.
At home, appliances and tools such as vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, food mixers and hedge trimmers emit dangerous levels of noise. Listening to the television or stereo at high volume can also contribute to hearing loss.
At the workplace or on the job, workers are exposed to dangerous levels of sound from heavy machinery and power tools. Construction workers are susceptible to hearing loss due to their working environment.
While many baby boomers might not have heeded any advice to keep the volume down, they are now more aware of their hearing loss. With the advancement of technology, hearing aids come in new funky shapes, designs and features. Hearing aids are no longer associated with old people only. Instead, new hearing aids are designed to cater for people of all age groups.
Nowadays, digital technology has replaced analog technology. Digital hearing aids produce better sound quality with feedback cancellation to get rid of unwanted noises. They have programmable settings that can be customized to your hearing needs.
Hearing loss can adversely affect work productivity and relationships if left untreated. People with hearing difficulty should see an audiologist for a hearing test. Hearing aids do not restore your hearing back to normal. However, they can improve your hearing, thereby increasing quality of life.
Prevention is better than cure. Hearing loss can be prevented by taking the necessary precautions. Turn down the volume of music or use ear protection. Avoid long exposure to loud noises at concerts or clubs.