Looking after your hearing and general ear health is important at all stages of life, but it can be particularly difficult to ensure teenagers are being safe and sensible when it comes to ear care. Take a look at some ways you can prevent hearing loss in teenagers and encourage healthy habits.
Why are Teenagers Vulnerable to Hearing Problems?
Hearing damage can happen at all stages of life. Today we will explore how to be conscious of our hearing and the best ways to protect our ears.
Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to hearing loss caused by external factors.
Teenage years may bring increased independence and freedom to explore the world. This can include going to events that can expose you to high noise levels, such as concerts, parties, and even movie theatres.
Teenagers are also more likely to want to spend time listening to music. This often means a lot of time spent using headphones, with some studies showing teenagers use personal listening devices for up to three hours per day.
Signs of Teen Hearing Loss
The signs and symptoms of hearing loss in teenagers are the same as those in other age groups. Regardless of how old you are, hearing loss is usually a gradual process that happens due to repeated exposure to unsafe levels of noise. Some of the warning signs of hearing loss include:
- Trouble hearing people over the phone
- Difficulty hearing teachers if you’re sitting near the back of the class
- Needing to ask others to repeat themselves
- Trouble hearing someone who is facing away from you
- Difficulty hearing in busy or noisy environments
- A constant ringing or buzzing sound in the ears, also known as tinnitus
Signs to look out for-
Your teenager is constantly asking people to repeat themselves, if they are turning up the volume on the TV or car radio often, or if you can hear their music when they are wearing headphones.
If you or your teenager notice any of these signs, having their ears tested by an audiologist is a good starting point. Although some hearing damage is irreversible, it may be possible to prevent further damage by using the tips below.
Tips for Protecting Your Hearing for Teenagers
There are many things you can do to preserve hearing and prevent hearing loss in teenagers.
- Limit use of headphones. Excessive headphone use may lead to hearing damage, even if you’re not listening to loud volumes. Try not to use headphones for more than an hour a day.
- Keep the volume down. Whether you’re using headphones or listening to music at home or in the car, don’t turn the volume up past sixty percent of the maximum.
- Use protection when needed. If you know you’re going to be around loud noise for an extended time, you can protect your ears using earplugs or noise cancelling headphones.
- Learn more about ear health. Educate yourself on hearing damage and know how hearing loss can dramatically affect your lifestyle.
- Visit an audiologist for a hearing screen.
- Visit your local Earworx clinic to see if wax removal would be beneficial. Some earphones and headphones may stimulate wax production or even push wax further into the ear canal. This can create a sensation that the hearing is reduced