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An Entire Generation Is At Risk Of Going DEAF Because Under 30s Listen To Loud Music On Their Phones

Discussion in 'Otolaryngology' started by Nada El Garhy, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. Nada El Garhy

    Nada El Garhy Golden Member

    May 23, 2016
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    expert warns
    • An entire generation said to be at risk of going deaf due to music on their phones
    • Smartphones and earphones responsible for increasing deafness, experts warn
    • The music we listen to can be the same decibel level as a jumbo jet taking off

    An entire generation is at risk of going deaf - because under 30s listen to too much music on their phones, an audiologist has warned.

    Rosbin Syed, lead paediatric audiologist at Central Middlesex Hospital, said the loud music pumped into ears can be the same decibel level as a jumbo jet taking off.

    He pointed to figures which show the number of people under 30 with permanent hearing damage has been on the rise across the UK over the past decade.

    The generally accepted maximum safe sound level of noise for long periods of time is 85 decibels. Jumbo jets taking off can be in the region of 110 decibels.

    Ms Syed said: 'It's not hard to imagine what prolonged exposure to that sort of noise is going to do.


    Smartphones and earphones are responsible for increasing deafness and hearing loss among our young population, a top audiologist warned

    'The sort of hearing loss we are treating today would have largely seen in the over 50s ten or twenty years ago. It's a global issue.

    'It's tragic really because by the time people come and see us the damage has already been done.'

    Hearing loss is irreversible and it is estimated that a large proportion of those who struggle with their hearing are due to noise exposure.

    In each ear, the inner ear structure called the cochlea – which receives sound in the form of vibrations – has 15,000 hairs.

    These tiny, sensory hair cells are crucial to detecting sound waves – but are very fragile. If they are damaged, it can cause hearing loss.

    There are currently 11 million Britons with hearing loss, according to figures from Action on Hearing Loss.

    But the charity estimates this will jump to be 15.6 million by 2035 - an increase of more than 40 per cent.

    Health Policy Manager Ayla Ozmen said: 'Young people are putting their hearing at risk due to continued exposure to loud music.

    'In 2015, the World Health Organization warned nearly half of young adults between 12-35 years are exposing themselves to dangerously loud noise levels.'

    Ms Syed suggested printing warning labels on packaging for audio products may be a solution to decrease the damage caused by headphones.

    She added: 'There has to be some sort of regulation brought in to make sure all headphones are up to an acceptable standard.'

    Ms Syed also blamed cheaper products on the market that require the sound to be 'really' cranked up, which leaves it distorted.

    Exposure to loud noises is also a common cause of tinnitus, the name for hearing noises that aren't caused by an outside source.

    Research shows more than half of people aged 18 to 24 reported experiencing the constant buzzing and ringing in their ears and one in ten adults UK wide.

    Yet a worrying 40 per cent of people are still unaware that listening to loud music can lead to permanent tinnitus.

    Another risk is noise levels in nightclubs which can exceed 100 decibels. In such conditions, music can only be listened to safely for 15 minutes.

    Dr Ozmen added: 'You don't have to stop listening to music or stay home all night to protect yourself. If you're going to a gig, take some earplugs.

    'Modern ones are quite comfortable and don't ruin the listening experience as some people think.

    'Noise cancelling headphones are also really good for listening to music on personal music players when background noise is high, like on buses and trains.

    'It's best to take these simple steps to protect your hearing, as the effects of noise damage can be irreversible.'



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