Your Predisposition to a Hearing Disability
Having a hearing disability or being partially deaf can take a lot of energy and effort. Straining to understand what is said at a table full of friends, or having to have things repeated to you multiple times are some of the struggles that those with hearing loss face every day. Trying to focus on a conversation when there are other noises around you can be especially difficult.
To most people, these problems may seem distant, as hearing loss is usually associated with aging. And it’s mostly true- almost half of those over 60 have some form of hearing damage. But more and more young people are joining that group every day. In fact, the World Health Organization believes that around 1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to the noises and large amounts of sound they are exposed to. The WHO points to the use of earbuds and young people’s tendencies to listen to music at dangerously high volumes, as well as their lack of ear protection at noisy venues like concerts and clubs. Furthermore, links have been found between hunters and their need for ear protection. As technology such as ipods and smart phones have increasingly high demand and become affordable for everyone, more people develop a risk of losing their hearing. In Canada alone, between 10 and 15 percent of citizens have some form of hearing damage.
To prevent hearing loss, the WHO suggests wearing earplugs in noisy situations, and lowering the volume on personal devices. For those who have already developed some auditory damage, it may benefit you to look into hearing aid devices. They can be expensive, and may seem new and scary (see modern hearing aid technology) to many people. But waiting too long without getting them will deteriorate your hearing further, and will also lower your standard of living. Hearing aids can make those previously difficult social situations much smoother, and you’ll no longer have to ask a friend to repeat themselves to understand them.