Maybe your teen/partner is hearing what they want to or perhaps they are the 1 in 5, 48 to 59 year old adults who are experiencing hearing loss. To add to the possible non-compliance in your house, a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 1 in 5 teens have relevant hearing loss. What ever the reason, learn a little more and take some preventable action.
Further more, the New York Times:
“One in five teenagers suffer from at least slight hearing loss, a marked increase from a decade ago, according to a study reported in today’s Vital Signs column.”
“The new study, published Wednesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed data on about 1,771 youngsters aged 12 to 19…. The percentage with at least slight hearing loss increased by 30 percent, to 19.5 percent from 14.9 percent in the earlier study.”
How Do We Hear?
There are a few steps that allow us to hear. First, when sound enters through the outer ear (ear canal and the eardrum), it will travel down the canal and bounce off the eardrum to create a vibration. Secondly, the vibrations will enter the middle ear bones, the ossicles, and create more vibrations. These added vibrations allow for fluid movement in the inner ear (cochlea), which cause the hair cells to send signals to the auditory nerve to the brain. Lastly, the brain will interpret these signals as sound.
What Can Go Wrong?
Many things can go wrong but the most significant reason in our times is loud noise. Loud noise will generate free radicals (I write about the effects of free radicals a lot – click here to see one post) and these free radicals may cause damage to these hair cells and disengage the signals to happen.
What Are Loud Noises?
Instinctively, we may first think of concerts and playing loud music, but there are many other things that can contribute to hearing loss that we almost become immune to. Traffic, being in an airplane, music in the car, humming of your computer and even your neighbor mowing their lawn can affect your hearing.
What Can You Do?
Find silence: Everyday seek out some quiet peace for as long as you can.
Proper ear phones: Purchase sound-isolating earphones. They might be expensive but important preventative method. I have read that Shure is a good brand.
Ear plugs: Keep them handy and use when needed.
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Image credit: Emily Brooke Sandor