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The Need for Hearing Aids Before Age 50 is on the Rise

Many people can accept needing hearing aids in their golden years, as hearing devices are often shown as the providence of senior citizens. However, in recent years, there has been a distinct rise in the need for hearing aids for those under fifty years old.

Why Early Hearing Loss Is Increasing

According to the findings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40 million Americans showed that they had signs of hearing loss. Yet, over half of them (21 million) said that they did not work in an environment where they were exposed to loud noises, which is a commonly accepted reason for hearing loss.

On top of that, one in four of the adults that had their hearing tested were between the ages of 20-69 and had previously said that they had good to excellent hearing.

This increase in hearing loss in the younger population is concerning, and there are several factors that may be contributing to the rise in early hearing loss.

High-Fidelity Headphones And Earbuds

While most people now understand the dangers of attending concerts without hearing protection, that understanding doesn’t stand much of a chance against high-fidelity headphones and earbuds. These devices can pipe sound into a person’s ear at hearing loss-inducing levels, and almost all adolescents and young adults have these devices.

The damage caused by headphones and earbuds has not been specifically measured, as their use is pervasive throughout the U.S. However, the overall prevalence of hearing loss in tweens and teens has risen from 14.9% to 19.5%.

Secondhand Smoke Exposure

Another factor in developing sensorineural hearing loss is secondhand smoke exposure. For children exposed while in utero or during their childhood, the likelier the children were to suffer from low-frequency hearing loss. That in itself is unusual, as it is usually the higher frequencies that are impacted first.

Also, while the study focused on tobacco-based secondhand smoke, many tweens and teens engage in vaping, which often comes with high levels of nicotine. The nicotine can impact their hearing health and lead to early hearing loss.

Obesity And Diabetes

Obesity is a growing worldwide health issue that can also contribute to a number of health problems. In a study that examined over 5,000 obese adolescents, it was found that these overweight children were 8.06% more likely to suffer from hearing loss.

Also, in the study, it mentioned that obese children with type 2 diabetes are 30% more likely to also have hearing loss, as the high blood sugar levels can damage the delicate, sound transmitting hair cells in the inner ear.

Here at Hearing & Balance Doctors, our doctors of audiology treat hearing loss in patients of all ages. And one thing that they all have in common is that our patients express the wish that they came in as soon as started to experience hearing loss.

Address Hearing Loss Sooner Rather Than Later

As these hearing loss risk factors are impacting today’s youth, it is also having a detrimental effect on young adults and middle-aged adults who may not expect to struggle with hearing loss. So, while it can be unexpected to have hearing loss when you are under 50 years old, it is essential to address the loss sooner rather than later.

By addressing your hearing loss sooner, you can:

  • Decrease your cognitive decline risk factors.
  • Become more comfortable in social settings and noisy environments.
  • More effectively communicate with others.
  • Stave off social isolation and the associated depression and anxiety.
  • Manage your tinnitus symptoms (if you have tinnitus) effectively.

Try Discreet Hearing Aids At Hearing & Balance Doctors

If you are concerned about wearing bulky hearing aids to correct your hearing loss, you are in luck. With the advancements made in hearing technology, there are a number of different hearing aid styles you can try out with our hearing doctors. Some hearing aids you may want to check out at our hearing clinics are:

  • Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) hearing aids are often smaller than other hearing aids you wear behind your ears while still providing you with a great array of technology and amplification.
  • Completely-In-Canal (CIC) & Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) are the two smallest and most discreet styles of hearing aids as they sit inside of your ear canal. If you have mild-to-moderate hearing loss, these hearing aids are all you really need.

To have a diagnostic hearing evaluation, and to see what discreet hearing aids work best for your hearing needs, feel free to contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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