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Unsafe listening practices threaten the hearing of up to 1.35 billion young adults worldwide, says a study published in The British Medical Journal.

Why it matters

  • In children, untreated hearing loss reduces academic performance, motivation, and the ability to concentrate.
  • For adults, untreated hearing loss is linked to poorer mental health, lower income, depression, falling, cognitive impairment, and dementia.

“Damage from unsafe listening can compound over the life course, and noise exposure earlier in life may make individuals more vulnerable to age-related hearing loss.” —NPR, November 16, 2022


The big picture

  • The risk of noise-induced hearing loss depends on how loud, how long, and how often you’re exposed to noise.
  • Tinnitus often indicates unsafe listening habits.
  • Recommended noise limits are no more than 85 decibels throughout a 40-hour week.
  • People ages 12 to 35 listen to content at 105 decibels.
  • The average noise level at entertainment venues was 104 to 112 decibels.

What to do

You can reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss the following ways:

  • Take breaks from loud noise when possible
  • Wear ear protection in loud places (foam ear plugs)
  • Distance yourself from the sources of loud noise.
  • Keep listening devices at a safe volume (<85 dB).

Concerned about your hearing?

Schedule a free, 15-minute hearing screening with an audiologist. Don’t guess. Find out.

If you have hearing loss, your audiologist will explain

  • How much hearing you’ve lost
  • Whether your hearing needs treatment now or later
  • The most effective treatment plan

Crest Hill: 630-633-5060 | Palos Hills: 708-599-9500

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