While many people associate hearing loss with growing older, it can actually occur at any age. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), around one in three adults between the ages of 20 and 69 experience some degree of hearing loss. Of these, 11 percent have difficulty hearing speech in noisy environments, 13 percent have trouble hearing high-frequency sounds, and another 10 percent cannot hear an ordinary conversation even in quiet surroundings.
These statistics show that the risk of experiencing hearing loss increases as we get older—but this doesn’t mean that you need to wait until later in life to address your situation. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do from now to reduce your risk and protect your hearing. In this blog post, we’ll look at the impact of technology on hearing loss, as well as steps you can take to prevent it from getting worse.
How Technology Can Cause Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused by a number of things, including genetics, exposure to loud noises, infections, earwax buildup, certain medications, and even the aging process. When this happens, your ears lose the ability to pick up sound accurately, which can lead to difficulties in communication and cause you to withdraw from social situations. In some cases, hearing loss can be irreversible—but the good news is that there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk and protect your hearing before this happens. If you regularly use devices that emit high decibel sounds, for example, you could cause irreparable damage to your hearing. This can happen with headphones or earbuds, as well as with devices such as hairdryers or electric toothbrushes. In-ear monitors for musicians or sound-masking devices for room-wide sound are examples of products that emit a relatively low decibel rating and are safe to use.
What is the Impact of Technology on Hearing Loss?
As we’ve seen, technology can cause hearing loss if you regularly expose yourself to high decibel sounds as part of your daily routine. We’ll look at specific examples of technology below, but in general, the higher the decibel rating of a device, the higher the risk of causing hearing loss. Headphones and earbuds, for example, usually emit a decibel rating of around 100. This can cause hearing loss if you use them continuously for eight hours or more per day. Sound-masking devices emit a relatively low decibel rating, which means they can be used safely in most office settings.
To determine the risk of damaging your hearing based on the technology you use, you can consult a decibel chart. This will show you the decibel rating of different types of technology and their impact on your hearing over a given period of time. It’s also important to remember that noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age, so it’s never too late to start protecting your hearing from harmful technology.
Why is Technology Bad for Your Hearing?
There are a number of reasons why certain pieces of technology can cause hearing loss. If you wear headphones or earbuds with a high decibel rating for long periods of time, for example, you increase the risk of causing permanent damage to your hearing. This is because your ears cannot regulate the amount of sound that enters them, meaning that they are exposed to dangerously high decibel levels. If you use headphones or earbuds with a low decibel rating, you are less likely to cause hearing loss. If you work in a noisy environment, you may need to wear a pair of earplugs or earmuffs to block out the noise and protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss.
The problem with many earplugs and earmuffs, however, is that they can increase the volume of the sound around you to unsafe decibel levels. This can cause hearing loss, particularly if you wear them for long periods of time. Sound-masking devices emit a relatively low decibel rating, which means they don’t increase the volume of the surrounding noise. They are therefore a suitable option for people who work in noisy environments.
Tips to Protect Your Hearing From Technology
According to Colorado Springs audiology and hearing care specialists, if you use devices that emit a high decibel rating, such as headphones or earbuds, there are a few things you can do to protect your hearing. First, try to avoid using these devices for long periods of time. This is particularly important if you work in a noisy environment—in this case, you should use earplugs or earmuffs to protect your hearing. Wearing headphones or earbuds for short periods of time is okay, but make sure you take regular breaks to give your ears a rest. If you use a hairdryer or electric toothbrush, make sure you use it at a safe distance to reduce the impact on your hearing. If you work in an office, try to arrange your desk and surrounding area in a way that reduces the noise level around you. You can also wear earplugs or earmuffs during periods of high noise to protect your hearing.
Technology can cause hearing loss if you regularly expose yourself to high decibel sounds. You can minimize your risk of hearing loss by using technology with a low decibel rating, such as sound-masking devices, and taking regular breaks to give your ears a rest. If you regularly experience hearing loss, you should speak to your doctor. They can advise you on your options and help you reduce your risk of experiencing further hearing loss.