Millennials at risk of hearing loss


millennials hearing loss
© Julia Freeman-Woolpert -

Occupational Health & Safety magazine recently reported on the growing number of younger Americans who have noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), especially due to overexposure to sound from personal electronic devices.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 15% of Americans (some 26 million people) aged between 20 and 69 years have high frequency hearing loss due to overexposure to noise at work or during leisure activities, OH&S reports.

The article also cites data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that millennials represent 36% of the United States workforce and will represent 75% by the year 2025. These are people who were born between around 1980 and 2000, and they may already have experienced long-term exposure to loud noise in their personal lives through earbuds and personal electronic devices. Internationally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults (including millennials) are already at risk of hearing loss from these devices but also from noise exposure at nightclubs, concerts, and sports events.

The best solution to the problem would be to increase awareness in this population group. And the best way to do that is to use tools that millennials are comfortable with, namely via technology. A good example is fast-evolving smartphone apps that help to measure sound. Sound-level meter apps available for smartphones “can have a tremendous and far-reaching impact in the area of noise control,” says the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Source: Occupational Health & Safety