Home / Blog / Guns and occupational noise, remain top major risk factors for hearing loss in adults.


  • Guns and occupational noise, remain top major risk factors for hearing loss in adults.
    9 Jan , 2017
















    A new study published last week by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health found some interesting statistics.The researchers found that in 2011 and 2012, about 14 percent of Americans — some 27.7 million — had a hearing impairment. That was down from 16 percent, or 28 million, from 1994 to 2004.


    The findings came as a surprise to some, given the public health warnings over the past decade that teens were increasingly listening to loud music over headphones. However, this study considered only those individuals over the age of 20, so it really is still too early to gauge the full impact on the Walkman and iPod generations. Previous research has in fact shown that as many as 1 in 5 teens experience hearing loss, and 9 out of 10 listen to music at volumes that can damage hearing.


    Men had nearly twice the rate of hearing loss (18.6 percent) than women (9.6 percent), and as expected, rates increased with age. About 39 percent of those in their 60s has some hearing impairment.


    The researchers defined hearing loss as not being able to hear sounds up to 25 decibels, about as loud as rustling leaves or a whisper.


    The researchers said the trend may mean individuals are now starting to develop hearing loss at a later age. That could be due to less exposure to occupational noise, with fewer manufacturing jobs and more people heeding the numerous warnings over the past decade on the importance of wearing hearing protection. The decline could also reflect lower smoking rates or better control of diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which has been linked to hearing loss.


    The decline in hearing loss rates among adults under age 70 suggests that age-related hearing loss may be delayed until later in life. This is good news because for those who do develop hearing loss, they will have experienced more quality years of life with better hearing than earlier generations.


    Individuals who worked for more than five years in loud occupational settings or who fired more than 1,000 firearm rounds in their lifetime were at a significantly higher risk for hearing loss. With the large numbers of veterans over the past decade returning from service in the Middle East there are numerous individuals who were exposed to more than 1,000 firearm rounds being fired in close proximity to their ears.


    “Hearing loss has been relegated to the sidelines of healthcare,” said Dr. Dan Blazer, a professor of psychiatry emeritus at Duke University Medical Center and chair of the committee that wrote the report. “For many people with hearing loss, trying to navigate the health care system to address their issues can be confusing and frustrating and they can be left with no clear guidance on what will best fit their financial, health, social and hearing needs.”


    We at A Atlantic understand how initially confusing a task it could be to address your hearing impairment alone, and make positive steps to regain your ability to clearly hear once again. This is one of the reasons that we have offered our community free hearing testing for more than 45 years. We are here to assist you every step of the way on your path back to healthy clear hearing.


    As our motto states… “We Really Do Care, About What You Hear”!


    Source: Wescom News Service
    Image credit: meme generator