Majority of individuals at risk for hearing loss

by RUBY AUJLA

Staff Writer

According to a recent report from the World Health Organization, over one billion teenagers and adults are at risk for hearing loss. The WHO analyzed listening habits of teenagers from age twelve to fifteen in more-developed countries and learned that roughly fifty percent of the group listened to audio devices at an unsafe level.

Sound pressure is measured in decibels (dB), and some individuals may be able to hear sounds below zero decibels. A typical conversation with a peer is usually around sixty decibels, which is not enough to cause damage. Sounds that reach around eighty-five decibels can cause permanent damage to the inner ear, especially when a person is exposed to them for a long period of time.

Sounds that reach above eighty-five decibels can cause permanent hearing loss despite only listening to them for short periods of time. Entertainment venues, such as music concerts, typically reach around one hundred decibels. Everyday situations and locations expose us to dangerous hearing levels without many be completely unaware of the fact.

Hearing loss is irreversible, but it is also preventable. By listening to audio devices at lower levels (no more than sixty percent), wearing noise-canceling headphones in loud situations, and limiting exposure to loud sounds can prevent hearing loss.

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