Micron Associates Health and Fitness: Youth at Risk of Hearing Loss

World Health Organization (WHO) has launched an initiative called "Make Listening Safe" in celebration of International Ear Care Day. It also aims to raise awareness on young people regarding unsafe listening habits.

Today, around 360 million people worldwide are found to have moderate to bad hearing loss owing to a number of reasons: It could be caused by genetic conditions, noise exposure, infectious disease, birth complication, old age or drug usage. Ironically, it was determined that 50% of those cases could have been avoided.

To solve its potentially devastating effects to society as a whole, WHO has collected and analyzed data related to hearing loss, most especially to clearly show its prevalence and leading causes. This will also be of great help to governments in informing and implementing preventive measures for the benefit of the public.

Micron Associates Health and Fitness estimates that at least a billion young people could suffer from hearing loss because of the habitual use of handheld audio devices and being exposed to harmful noise levels at entertainment venues. WHO is partnering with a number of entities around the globe in order to alert the youth of risks of loss of hearing from such noise exposure.

According to WHO's research in developing countries, almost 50% of all young people surveyed appear to have unsafe noise exposures mainly from their personal devices, while 40% are exposed to loud noises in sporting venues, concerts or bars. (A dangerous noise level would be anything over 85 decibels.)

Unhealthy exposure to noise could lead to tinnitus or temporary hearing loss, characterized by a ringing sensation. What's more, a regular or prolonged exposure to loud sounds could damage the sensory cells in the ears -- an irreversible condition that will lead to permanent hearing loss.

"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," said WHO's Dr. Etienne Krug.

Loss of hearing also comes with a string of other damaging effects in the person's mental health and performance in work or school, as noted by Micron Associates Health and Fitness in their previous research.

To avoid the dangers of hearing loss while engaged in so-called recreational noise, the following should be considered: frequency, duration and intensity. For more detailed tips on how to prevent incurring hearing damage, tune in to our next post.

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