In our society, hearing loss has always been mainly associated with those over 65, and has seemed like something in the distant future for anyone younger than that. However, numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that at least 43 million people under the age of 35 have hearing loss, and that hearing loss in adults is increasing all the time. The cause? The WHO says loud music, both from personal devices and from noisy clubs and concerts, is the culprit in the hearing damage of millions of young people today. As hearing loss in millennials continues to rise, we have learned these issues stem from similar characteristics that affect many of these younger adults.

1.1 billion people under the age of 35 could be at risk of hearing damage within the next few years, due to the dangerous amounts of noise found at rock concerts, clubs, and bars, as well as close proximity to sound with headphones and earphones.To combat this, the WHO suggests that we limit our consumption of loud music to one hour a day. We should try all we can to allow our ears to take a break from any damaging sound, and if the music we are listening to reaches extremely high levels, we should try to distance ourselves from it, or limit our time in proximity to it.

To prevent any possible hearing loss while at a young age, the WHO recommends multiple protective measures. First of all, in general, volume on all personal devices should be kept at around 60 percent of the maximum volume. Using noise cancelling headphones on these devices can also be helpful to prevent any outside noise or sound from adding to the music’s damage. At concerts and other loud venues, wearing ear plugs is a must, and try your best to stand away from speakers. The WHO also insists that preventing hearing damage would be much easier if governments and businesses installed break rooms in noisy clubs, offered earplugs at concerts, and set requirements and limits on volume.

To protect your hearing for as long as possible, try your best to limit the amount of noise you expose yourself to in a day. Cutting down your consumption of loud music to an hour is a great start, and can have a significant positive impact on your hearing while you’re young.