HEARING LOSS AMONG YOUTH IS RAMPANT

Young people with hearing loss are the fastest growing disability group today. Self-inflicted hearing loss is now rampant among our youth. What was a handicap among seniors has now invaded all ages. The main cause is the I-pod, the MP3, and concerts at high volume.

WHAT IS CAUSING HEARING LOSS?

One in five adolescents has a mild or greater hearing loss. It is a problem of epidemic portion and has serious ramifications. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that fifty million Americans have mild to severe hearing loss. It can never be reversed or brought back to normal by some technical or medical fix.

It is hard for anyone to admit they have a hearing loss no matter how severe it is. They resist getting a hearing test and certainly they do not want to consider a hearing aid. Any plan for help gets blocked by denial. They make statements like, “I’m OK, or I can hear just fine.”

A RECENT STUDY

A study also found that several symptoms of hearing loss were present in many of the study participants. More than 60% had concentration problems and also often needed people to repeat themselves, while 44% indicated that they often felt a need to turn up the volume on the TV. In addition, nearly two out of five study participants indicated that they felt bothered by tinnitus.

More than one out of three (36.6%) young people had concerns about hearing loss related to the use of personal stereos. Regarding preventive aspects, it was found that 81% of respondents find it important to reduce noise pollution in society.

According to the World Health Organization a volume above 85 dB for eight hours or 100 dB for 15 minutes is considered unsafe. To counter the risk, the (WHO) recommends that young people keep the volume down on their personal listening devices.

Mild hearing loss registers on the audiology chart means they cannot hear pure tone sounds in the 26 to 40 decibel range. It means that they are missing most high frequency sounds or the major consonants such as: T, K, SH, S, & P. Simply translated; youth are missing about 40% of normal conversation.

Without these consonants you hear the vowel sounds but can’t distinguish the words. This can impact every area of our daily lives from sun up to sundown. As a blind person has to grope and feel his way around so a hard of hearing person must constantly prepare to meet communication challenges.

HEARING LOSS IS INVISIBLE

You can’t tell who has a hearing loss because it is invisible. Yet they are constantly seeking new ways to meet the challenges of communication. If they misunderstand something, they may be ridiculed and made fun of. This brings shame, stress and low self’ esteem. Many go into social isolation.

It becomes stressful when you can’t hear normal conversation and feel fearful of what others may say about you. We dread being called names such as retarded, slow learner or low IQ. We feel lonely, ignored or rejected and often fall behind in school.

How do we deal with such a massive problem? Scientists are in research for new technology, medicine, surgery, and therapy, yet the problem continues to rise. Our world is going deaf right under our nose.

We are on a crusade to alert the public of the need to protect your ears. Our mission is to help those who have lost hearing to deal with hearing loss.

Until the Trumpet Sounds: LET MY PEOPLE HEAR!