Hearing loss isn’t just reserved for Grandma and Grandpa anymore! One in five adults who said they had no on the job exposure to noise showed indicators of hearing loss, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The report, the February 2017 CDC Vital Signs, indicated that much of the hearing damage could be linked to “loud sounds encountered during everyday activities at home and in the community.”
“40 million Americans show some hearing damage from loud noise, with nearly 21 million reporting no exposure to loud noise at work,” said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat in a CDC press release. “This can be distressing for people affected and their loved ones. We hope this report will help raise awareness of this problem and help clinicians reduce their patients’ risk for early hearing loss.”
According to the press release, the hearing loss report showed:
- About 53 percent of adults with noise-induced hearing damage reported no job exposure to loud sounds. This damage—shown by a distinctive drop in the ability to hear high-pitched sounds—appeared as early as age 20.
- Almost one in four adults ages 20 to 69 who reported good to excellent hearing already have some hearing loss.
- Almost 1 in 5 adults who reported no job exposure to noise showed hearing damage indicative of noise exposure.
- The presence of hearing loss increased with age, from about 1 in 5 (19%) among young adults ages 20-29 to more than 1 in 4 (27%) among adults ages 50-59.
- Hearing loss is more common among men and people over the age of 40 years.
If your workplace exposes you to loud noises, there are some precautions you can take to prevent hearing damage:
- Avoid noisy places whenever possible.
- Use earplugs, protective ear muffs, or noise-canceling headphones when they are around loud noises.
- Keep the volume down when watching television, listening to music, and using earbuds or headphones.
- Ask their doctor for a hearing checkup.