parents and children smiling outdoors

This October, we’re celebrating Protect Your Hearing Month! Raising awareness of hearing loss is extremely important. Hearing loss is permanent, so you’ll want to do everything in your power to prevent hearing loss before it happens.

Young adults, teens, and children also need to learn the risks of hearing loss. In fact, rates of hearing loss in younger adults and teens are increasing due to one dangerous trend – listening to music with the volume too high. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Among young adults and teens, noise-induced hearing loss is by far the most common kind of hearing loss. This hearing loss is caused by exposure to very loud noise. Sounds that cause hearing loss can include:

  • The screeching of the train on the daily commute

  • Activities like playing in a school band

  • Attending a sports event or concert

  • Watching a movie in theatres

  • Listening to music with earbuds

All these sounds can cause hearing loss! If you’re not sure how loud is too loud, try to talk to the person next to you. Did you have to yell? It’s too loud and you should be protecting your hearing.

Another way to find out if sounds are too loud is by downloading a decibel reader app on your phone. Any sounds louder than 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. If your decibel reader shows that the volume is higher than 85 decibels, leave the room or put in earplugs right away.

Listening to Music with Earbuds

One of the most surprising causes of hearing loss among young adults and teens is listening to music with earbuds. Many people under 30 spend a lot of hours of the day listening to music or other audio. It can help you concentrate at work, focus while studying, or block out any distracting background noise. It also helps pass the time on the commute to work or whenever you’re feeling a bit bored.

But what most people don’t know is that turning up the volume too high can lead to hearing loss. Most smartphones and personal listening devices can reach up to 105 dB! At this volume, even a few minutes can damage your hearing. And worst of all, when listening with earbuds or headphones, all this sound is blasting dangerously close to your eardrum.

Turn Down the Volume

Are you always listening to music with earbuds? Learning more about hearing loss will help you turn down the volume and protect your hearing. The volume should never exceed 75 to 80 decibels, so experts recommend keeping the volume at 60% or lower. Listening to music or audio can put a strain on your ears, so it’s also a good idea to take frequent breaks. At least once every hour, pause your music, take out your earbuds, and let your ears have a few minutes of quiet. This can prevent listening fatigue and protect your ears from hearing loss. A great way to enjoy music at a lower volume is with noise-canceling headphones. These will block out annoying background sounds so you can hear your audio without hearing other noise. You won’t be tempted to turn up the volume or put a strain on your ears.

Protecting Your Hearing

Whenever the sounds around you get too loud, wear hearing protection. Foam or wax earplugs are inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to slip into your pocket or bag. You can even have a few extra pairs for your friends. If you’re at a concert, event, or bar, and the sound is just too loud, put in a pair of earplugs to reduce the volume. Your eardrums will thank you, and you’ll protect your hearing.

Schedule a Hearing Test

Are you worried you may have a hearing loss? Book a hearing test to find out more about your hearing health. The test will show you exactly what volume of sound you can hear at every pitch. You can see if your hearing is within the normal range, or if you have mild or moderate hearing loss for some or most pitches. Knowing more about the sounds you can hear will help you make the right decision for your hearing health. We’ll also answer all your questions about hearing loss, hearing protection, and more.