It’s no secret that many teens like to pump up the volume when jamming out to their favorite tunes – more so than ever with the portability of their music collection on their mobile devices. A recent study by Siemens Hearing Instruments shows this behavior can place them at risk for hearing loss.

In fact, the study shows that currently 1 in 6 teens show hearing loss symptoms often or all of the time, and 46% reported experiencing ringing, roaring, buzzing or pain in the ears after engaging in in risky hearing practices.

“Music has always played a central role in teens’ lives, but over the past decade, the ever-present earbuds attached to popular smartphones and portable music players have caused increasing concern among hearing care professionals,” said Charles Kuratko, vice president of business management at Siemens Hearing Instruments. “When combined with other potentially damaging sound environments (power tools, concerts, etc), the potential for future hearing loss is greater than it has ever been. The good news is teenagers can protect their hearing with a few simple steps.”
Reducing the Risks

There are simple ways to prevent and mitigate the risks of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

  • Prevention: The best way to deal with NIHL is to stop it before it happens. Buying headphones instead of earbuds keeps some of the direct sound out of teens’ ears. Ear protection should always be used in loud environments like concerts, sporting events and when operating power equipment.
  • Stop future damage: If teens do experience symptoms like ringing or buzzing in their ears, they should immediately turn down the volume, wear ear protection, or see a hearing care professional.
  • Move to the middle: When going to a concert or club, sitting in the middle of the room helps reduce noise exposure.
  • Help a friend: Teens should warn one another if they’re putting their hearing at risk. If you can hear your neighbor’s music over the headphones, it’s too loud.
  • Custom ear protection: Custom-molded musician’s earplugs and high-decibel earplugs are recommended for teens who play in bands or are frequently in loud environments.

If you know a teen (or are a teen) who might be at risk for hearing loss, contact us at the Cedar Valley Center for Hearing. We can see if any problems currently exist, and create a plan to help prevent future hearing loss. Call us for your initial consultation at (319) 833-5968.