According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 360 million people worldwide suffer hearing loss, and almost 50% of young people aged between 12 and 35 listen to music on electronic devices at excessively high volumes.
Age-related hearing loss is now seen earlier
The data is alarming and the damage could be irreversible. According to WHO figures, of the 360 million people in the world with hearing loss, 328 million are adults and 32 million are children.
The 2008 Survey on disability, personal autonomy and dependency situations (EDAD) by the INE (National Statistics Institute), recorded more than 1 million people with hearing disabilities of different types and levels of severity in Spain. Additionally, thanks to the data provided by the Spanish Pediatric Association (AEP) , we know that five in every thousand children are born with some form of hearing loss.
Other entities, such as the Spanish Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (SEORL-CCC), warn of the prolonged exposure of young people to loud music, both collectively at concerts, festivals or clubs, or individually through the use of headphones. In Spain, half of the young population is exposed to excessive sound levels that are highly damaging to their hearing health on a daily basis.
SEORL-CCC warns that the consequences of this misuse of sound are causing premature hearing loss, which used to be associated with older age groups. Hearing loss was once more commonly diagnosed in people aged between 60 and 65; it is now being detected in people at the age of 40.
The main effects of loud noise on young people
Doctor Marc Tobed, a member of the SEORL-CCC, highlights the issue in an article published in the El Periódico newspaper titled “Los auriculares disparan los problemas auditivos en los jóvenes” (Headphones are causing a dramatic rise in hearing problems in young people). Tobed believes that the population should be made aware of the dangers of excessive exposure to noise on a daily basis both in terms of volume and duration. This noise pollution, together with other risk factors such as nightclubs, traffic or transport, can cause stress, insomnia, depression or cardiovascular problems in young people.
To prevent these hearing problems and reduce their alarming incidence among young people, we recommend following these 6 tips to protect your ears.