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More youngsters treated with hearing aids

Turned up volume causing more hearing loss and tinnitus in young people.

More youngsters treated with hearing aids

"Based on our calculations, young people will have to save up for hearing aids when they turn 50, which is 20 years sooner than their parents," said professor Therese Ovesen of Århus Sygehus to the Danish MetroXpress newspaper.

The solution to the problem is in the volume dial, according to Randi Wetke, chairman of Dansk Selskab for Medicinsk Audiologi, the Danish Medical Audiology Society.

"High noise levels are a defining feature of the youth culture. Every place from discoteques to fitness centres present noise problems. Enticing young people into using hearing protection is extremely difficult. It is, thus, crucial that the volume is turned down," said Dr. Wetke to the newspaper.

"A feeling of pressure in your ears as you leave a night club is a sign of hearing damage, and among people disposed to it, the immediate damage may be permanent," added Dr. Ovesen.

"As a rule of thumb, the noise pressure is hazardous when you must yell to hear each other," she said.

Both Wetke and Ovesen refer to British and German surveys.

The Danish Ménière- and tinnitus Association has found a clear cause and effect of the high noise levels.

"The number of youngsters experiencing permanent tinnitus is on the increase and in many cases their night life is the sole obvious reason," said Karen Lorenzen, a counselor with the association.

Other than giving up on the noise habits, there are only two solutions to the problem: The best solution is to turn down the volume. The other solution is to wear earplugs.

Source: MetroXpress, Danmark, 20th of February, 2004.

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