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Do Young People Face The Danger Of Hearing Loss?

As the world observes World Hearing Day on March 3, 2023, Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, warns of the increasing prevalence of hearing loss, particularly among young people.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to their exposure to loud sounds in recreational settings. This alarming trend calls for urgent action to prevent and treat hearing loss among young people.


Hearing loss is a gradual or sudden decrease in the ability to perceive sounds. It can occur at any age and is caused by various factors, including genetics, infections, trauma, and noise exposure.

Exposure to Loud Sounds

While hearing loss is more commonly associated with ageing, young people are also at risk. Using personal music devices and frequent attendance at loud events and clubs has increased noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among young people.

A National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke study found that one in five young adults aged 20-29 had hearing loss, and one in four aged 16-19 had early signs of NIHL.

Moreover, the study showed that the prevalence of hearing loss was twice as high in men than in women.

This indicates that young men are particularly at risk and need to take preventive measures to avoid hearing loss.

Study Finds 72% of Young People Listen to Music at Unsafe Volumes on Personal Devices

The European Commission has set a safe volume limit of 85 decibels (dB) for personal music devices.


However, a study by the University of Manchester found that 72% of young people regularly listen to music at volumes exceeding this limit.


Moreover, 14% of young people listen to music at volumes higher than 100 dB, which can cause hearing damage within 15 minutes of exposure.


Young People Need to Take Preventive Measures to Avoid Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a preventable condition that can profoundly impact a person’s life, affecting their ability to communicate, work, and engage in social activities.


“Young people need to be aware of the risks of hearing loss and take steps to protect their hearing,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“Preventing hearing loss is crucial, as there is no cure for most types of hearing loss. Once the hearing is lost, it cannot be regained through medical or surgical interventions.”

Four Ways Young People Can Prevent Hearing Loss Later in Life

Affinity Health highlights four ways young people can protect their hearing:

  1. Reduce the volume of the television, radio, or music and take breaks to limit your exposure.
  2. Most cell phones, tablets, computers, and gaming systems have volume controls preventing them from exceeding a specified volume level and setting your gadgets’ volume to no more than 70% of their maximum volume to achieve a healthy noise level.
  3. When you can’t avoid loud noises, use hearing protection devices (such as foam earplugs and decibel-lowering earmuffs).
  4. Pay attention to warning signs and information flyers about potential loud noises and the usage of hearing protection.

The Importance of Early Diagnosis

While there are interventions that can improve hearing, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants, it is essential to diagnose hearing loss early to prevent further damage and to provide early interventions to improve hearing.

This can be done through regular hearing screening, a quick and painless process.

It is recommended that young people get their hearing tested at least once every ten years.

About Affinity Health 

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to always give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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