One of the most common assumptions associated with hearing loss is that it only affects old people. Though a higher percentage of adults over age 69 are diagnosed with hearing loss, it is important to note that hearing loss most often relates to noise exposure rather than aging. 

Hearing loss affects more than 40 million Americans aged between 20 and 69. Our concerns for the hearing care of individuals of all ages in the Elgin, St. Charles and surrounding areas motivates us to raise awareness of the dangers facing untreated hearing loss in young people.

What Is Causing Hearing Loss in Young People?

The cause and extent of hearing damage are exposure to damaging noise levels for an extended period.

Exposure to a noise level of 100 dBA should only last 15 minutes before risking permanent damage to hearing. Young people are often exposed to 100 dBA from heavy traffic, sporting events, concerts or music in earbuds with levels often exceeding 110 dBA.

The Danger Behind Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

The damage produced by noise-induced hearing loss relates to a reduced capacity for the minute hair cells in the inner ear to conduct sound to the brain properly. This damage negatively affects how the brain processes sound, resulting in a reduced capacity to hear high-pitched sounds, the development of tinnitus, difficulty distinguishing conversations in noisy backgrounds and/or heightened sensitivity to everyday sounds.

Noise-induced hearing damage is permanent. Left untreated, it can potentially produce adverse effects on physical, mental, and emotional health. 

What Can Be Done to Prevent Hearing Loss in Young People?

Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure.” Prevention is the preferred means of dealing with hearing loss, and there are some simple solutions to limiting the risks of noise-induced hearing loss, including:

  • Limiting duration and exposure to extreme noise events.
  • Keeping volume on devices with earbuds at safe levels (usually below 50% of capacity).
  • Wearing hearing protection designed for professional or occupational use.

The Importance of a Professional Hearing Assessment for Young People

We employ comprehensive testing, consider lifestyle and occupational noise exposure, and are capable of providing advice and instruments for prevention or treatment. Even if a young person has not developed hearing loss that requires treatment, a hearing assessment establishes a baseline against which future damage can be measured.

Fox Valley ENT Provides Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment Solutions

Undetected and untreated hearing loss in individuals, regardless of age, can produce lasting damage to your career, mental and physical health, and overall quality of life. 

The team at Fox Valley ENT provides hearing assessments to identify the damage, prevent further destruction and treatment solutions to restore hearing loss. Our patients in Algonquin, Elgin, St. Charles, Huntley, and surrounding communities enjoy lifelong hearing healthcare designed to ensure better hearing and a higher quality of life. 

Our team operates under strict CDC guidelines for in-person appointments to ensure your health and safety. Whether you’re concerned about your hearing, need an emergency appointment, or want to discuss any questions about how we can help call the office nearest you, contact us here.

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Joseph, T Pacer

Joe Pacer has been an Audiologist with Fox Valley Ear, Nose & Throat Associates since 1988. He received his Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Northern Illinois University in 1986 where he continued and received his Master of Arts in Audiology in 1988. He is a member of the American Academy of Audiology. Joe works closely with his patients and has extensive experience performing hearing evaluation as well as recommending, fitting and trouble shooting hearing aids.