Teenagers with Hearing Loss

Aug 30, 2010 by

Researchers at Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have concluded that nearly one out of five American teenagers suffer from the same degree of hearing loss comparable to the age-related loss normally found in adults in their ’50s and ’60s. The study’s authors were careful not to point to reasons for the hearing loss but emphasized the need for everyone to take more steps to protect their hearing, and to invest more energy in teaching adolescents about the dangers of hearing loss. Most teenagers underestimate the importance of hearing and the dangers of noise exposure. Of course, more research needs to be done on the specific causes of the epidemic of adolescent hearing loss.

The public should push for investment in a public health campaign focused on hearing prevention. More screening by general practitioners including pediatricians in annual physical exams needs to done. Schools need to make an effort to check and test their students’ hearing ability. Screening of students for hearing loss in the first week of school, better hearing protection devices, and other assistive listening technologies could help students hear and learn much more effectively. We also need to focus on hearing protection in the workplace. The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) needs to take a closer look at the societal cost of hearing loss in the workplace and begin to hold employers accountable for simple steps to protect their workers’ hearing.

Hearing loss is entirely preventable. We need to not take our hearing ability for granted and avoid what could become a large public health crisis in the future. Our hearing professionals at Hear Florida can educate you about hearing loss prevention. Contact one of our south Florida hearing care centers and speak with our hearing professionals today.

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