For many people, hearing loss only becomes a worry in old age. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, hearing loss affects one-third of Americans between the ages of 65-75 and about half of the adults above 75 years. However, hearing loss affects people of all ages. Although the stats always seem to suggest that hearing loss is an issue for aging adults alone, it is not always the case. People can lose their hearing at any age, while some are also born with it.

Common Causes of Hearing Loss

First, it is essential to know the causes of hearing loss, as that will better help you appreciate the fact that everyone, no matter what age they are, can experience it. Several conditions can lead to hearing loss, but a few of the more popular causes include the following:

  • Exposure to loud noise: One of the most common causes of hearing loss, no matter your age, is regal exposure to loud noise. Several activities like hunting and shooting, using power tools and loud music can cause permanent damage to the inner ear without the proper protective measures. 
  • Heredity: Family history can also determine how resilient your hearing health will be over the years. That means, if hearing loss issues run through your family, you have a higher risk of experiencing it. 
  • Infections and trauma: An infection or injury to your ears can also put you at risk of hearing loss. Examples are the swimmer’s ear and ruptured eardrums. 
  • Medications: Some medications can also affect your hearing health. Always speak with your audiologist to find out if any drugs you are on may be causing you hearing issues. 
  • Aging: Aging is the most common cause of hearing loss. People over 50 years are more likely to start losing their hearing gradually.

Hearing Loss Affects People of All Ages

The common causes of hearing loss mentioned are proof that almost anyone is at risk of hearing loss. And in addition to that, a significant number of people across all generations experience different degrees of hearing loss issues. So, let’s take a closer look:

  • Children: Various stats show that in the US alone, two to three out of every 1000 newborn babies are born with hearing loss. One out of every five teenagers experience some degree of hearing loss in the US. Additionally, one out of eight children in the US experience hearing loss issues from using earphones to listen to music at unhealthy volumes. Furthermore, over 90% of children born with hearing loss have parents with no hearing-related issues at all.  
  • Young adults: According to reports from the World Health Organization, about 50% of millennials are currently at risk of hearing loss issues in the future due to unsafe habits like listening to loud music through earplugs. About 40% of millennials are also at risk of developing hearing loss from attending loud concerts and other noisy entertainment venues.
  • Service members: According to some experts, three out of every five service members experience different levels of hearing loss. Reports also indicate that tinnitus and hearing loss issues are among the most reported health problems among active service members and veterans. Additionally, about half of all injuries caused by blast result in permanent hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss issues have become so prevalent that service members now go through mandatory hearing loss prevention training.

What You Can Do

From the previous numbers, it should be clear that hearing loss is a concern for all ages. That means that no matter how old you are, it is crucial to start putting the proper preventive measures in place to ensure that you lower your risks significantly. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Always use protection: If you work in a noisy environment or operate high-power machines, always ensure that your ears are well covered with protective headphones.
  • Reduce the volume: When enjoying your music, always make sure that your volume remains at safe levels. Fortunately, most smartphones will notify or warn you when your volume reaches unsafe levels. 
  • Ear food and nutrition: Believe it or not, what you eat can significantly impact your hearing health. Your best bet is to make sure that you consistently eat a healthy and balanced diet. Nutrients and minerals like vitamins A, B, C, D, B9, magnesium, folic acid, potassium, zinc and omega-3, play considerable roles in promoting and maintaining healthy hearing while reducing your risk of experiencing hearing loss or hearing-related issues in the future.

You can learn more about Salyer Hearing Center by calling us today at Sylva: 828-586-7474, Franklin: 828-524-5599 and Murphy: 828-835-1014