Study finds increase of hearing loss among young adults

TULSA, Okla. — A recent study from BMJ Global Health showed ages 12 to 34 at a potential risk of hearing loss from voluntary recreational noise exposure.

The study revealed that people are listening to personal listening devices, or PLD’s, too loudly.

“There is this young adult population that we’re seeing an increase because of noise exposure,” said Julie Hyland, Applied Associate University of Tulsa Professor and Doctor of Audiology.

The study found that even single instances of unsafe listening could cause physiological damage to the auditory system.

“More we’re seeing young people coming in with degrees of hearing loss that we wouldn’t necessarily expect to find until they are like 65 or older,” Hyland said.

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As you’re holiday shopping for toys, headphones and devices for children, Hyland says to use the 60/60 rule.

“No more than 60 percent of the maximum volume for 60 minutes,” she said.

The study showed that noise damage can compound over time, and exposure earlier in life might make people more vulnerable to age-related hearing loss.

“Some families are going to acquire more age-related hearing loss and earlier, and other families there are elderly adults out there that have typical hearing thresholds,” Hyland said.

Hyland said to beware of over-the-counter quick fixes.

“At least starting with an audiologist who has that training to be able to make recommendations is really the best way to go to protect your hearing health,” she added.