For decades, hearing loss seemed exclusive to seniors, and did not threaten anyone under the age of 65. However, with the increasing volumes of noisy venues, the social stigmas attached to using ear protection, and exposure to loud music on personal devices, hearing damage can start as early as 30, or even younger. Aging and hearing loss commonly affect millions of people every year. Aging is possibly the most prominent factor in what causes hearing loss, but a lack of protection from noise at younger ages contributes to that. Hearing loss can be very difficult to live with and upsetting- so protecting your hearing as best as you can is extremely important.

For those who brush off the idea of hearing damage and don’t think to protect themselves from noise exposure, hearing loss is no laughing matter. It can affect a person in almost all social situations and outings (see hearing loss millennials), and can be very impactful emotionally. Putting in earplugs at a loud basketball game is a small price to pay to protect yourself from permanent damage to your hearing. If you find yourself having to have sentences repeated to you multiple times, or you have a slight ringing in your ears after being in a loud venue, then it is crucial to use ear protection and take care of your hearing, starting now. You should also think about taking a hearing test and seeing an audiologist.

If you have hearing loss (see free hearing test), there is no need to be ashamed or embarrassed. Hearing loss may have been associated with “being old” in our society, but in reality, millions of people under the age of 40 have sustained some form of hearing loss in the past few years. The best measures to take when you have a form of hearing loss or damage is to identify yourself as such to others, and then to always ask or tell people what you need to cater to your hearing. Try to reduce any background noise or interfering sound, and make sure to consult with an audiologist on how to protect your ears from any further damage.