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As the technology of digital hearing aids evolves, so does the technology of many other devices. How many times have you heard music blaring from the earbuds of the person sitting next to you? Or have you walked into a sports bar with televisions blaring the scores of multiple games? Technology is good for many things, but hearing may be negatively affected if users are not careful.

Age of Hearing Loss             

Hearing loss may not be noticeable at first, particularly for those who fall in the 20-39 age bracket who think they are too young for hearing loss. Youth do not see the immediate consequences of their actions, so loud sound exposure from a young age may not seem like a big deal. However, hearing loss is usually not reversible, and once the damage is done, there is no turning back. Young people expose themselves to loud music in headphones or at concerts and clubs, loud office or factory work, and loud restaurants and outings. Even movie theaters are becoming more immersive, and in conjunction, louder. While most movies try to stay below the 85 decibel mark, it is fairly common for certain scenes to exceed that limit. Even Storks, a movie for kids, hit 99.3 decibels. Youth can withstand the loud sounds, but any ringing in the ear is a sign of hearing loss.

Effect of Earbuds

With podcasts and streaming music, the popularity of personal listening with earbuds has reached nearly 90 percent of youth. Those who listen to music on their own personal device within their ear should keep the volume low, but this is often forgotten. Unfortunately, 66 percent of the music listeners crank the volume to over 85 decibels. This is enough to cause permanent hearing damage. In order to hear only the music and drown out surrounding sounds, listeners find it necessary to reach top volume capacity. As a rule of thumb, try out the 60/60 rule which means 60 percent volume for 60 minutes a day. Any more than this could be an issue. If you do need to turn up the volume, decrease the amount of time spent at this decibel level. Remember that the sound goes directly into your ear canal with earbuds, and you don’t want to cause irreversible ear damage!

Digital Hearing Aids for Youth

Because of the younger age of hearing loss, more young people are trying out digital hearing aids. In fact, 20 percent of women aged 20 to 39 experience some sort of hearing loss as a result of loud volumes. That percentage rises to 32 percent for males in the same age range. That boils down to one in 12 30-year-olds with hearing loss. Thankfully, the size of digital hearing aids has decreased, and the devices are more discrete that make them almost invisible. Digital hearing aids are also following the movement of other online retailers like the trendy Warby Parker or Casper, which makes the process of buying a device simpler and more fun. There is less of a stigma and more of a stress on treating hearing loss with digital hearing aids.

By: Diana Michel