Hearing Loss Hits A Younger Generation

Photo credit: flattop341 licensed under CC BY 2.0

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

Hearing loss is commonly seen only as a problem for older people, not younger ones.

As I have written before, it’s seen as part of normal aging even when the scientific evidence shows that good hearing should be preserved into old age.

But when children start listening to music with headphones or earbuds before they start kindergarten, and those in their teens and twenties listen to personal music players for hours each day, earlier hearing loss is inevitable.

I think there already is an epidemic of noise-induced hearing loss that will only get worse in coming decades, when those children reach their 40s or 50s.

Media observers don’t seem to be as concerned as I am, but this article in the Chicago Tribune gets it right.

Dr. Daniel Fink is a leading noise activist based in the Los Angeles area. He serves on the board of the American Tinnitus Association, is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’s Health Advisory Council, and is the founding chair of The Quiet Coalition, an organization of science, health, and legal professionals concerned about the impacts of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity, and quality of life in America.

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