In case you missed it, the US has just released a report speculating that hearing loss is expected to double by 2060. While no similar reports have recently been run in Australia, it’s worth noting that our hearing habits – loud music venues, increased earbud usage, noise-cancelling headphones, etc. – do not differ much from those in the United States, meaning we’re all at risk of compromising our ears over the next couple decades.
Factors driving increased hearing loss
Prolonged exposure to loud noise is the most common cause of hearing loss, primarily including music and noisy workplace environments. Industrial workers, hunters using firearms, hospitality or music industry employees, etc. are among those most affected by everyday threats to their hearing, but that’s not to say we’re not all victims of venues with excessive music, loud TVs, and amped up concert speakers and cinemas. Additionally, the lack of access to hearing tests and treatment contributes to ever-growing numbers, as many people cannot afford proper care or don’t consider it a financial priority.
Ears are a sound investment for the future
Financial stability should not be a prerequisite for healthy ears. With that in mind, our parent company, Sonova, launched the Hear The World Foundation aimed at addressing hearing loss in underdeveloped parts of the world. While the USA’s report was heavily focused on hearing loss in adults, children are sadly highly affected by hearing loss in many parts of Australia and the world. Aside from being aware, you can get involved in prevention and treatment efforts with the Hear The World Foundation on their website.
Self-preservation and prevention is possible
While the stats are daunting, you can avoid becoming one of the numbers. “It’s never too early to start protecting your hearing,” Dr. Debara Tucci, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Otolaryngology, told CBS News. “Hearing loss is a slow, insidious process, and changes can occur over many years that are not reversible. I would recommend [testing] when you are 55 to 60 to see if there is any hearing loss. People should not take hearing loss for granted as they get older. There are ways to prevent and treat hearing loss.”