Today, exposure to noise is one of the major causes, if not the leading cause, of hearing loss and tinnitus.
Previously, a noise-induced hearing loss was mostly related to noise exposure at work when working in e.g. noisy factories and in mining and construction.
Today, hearing loss caused by noise is mostly related to leisure time noise and listening to loud music.
In many workplaces around the world, increased awareness on noise, regulations, lesser noise in the workplace and the use of hearing protection have reduced the numbers of hearing losses due to excessive work noise.
Noise when not working
Today noisy toys, tools and machinery when we are NOT working and listening to loud music for longer periods are the major causes of hearing loss caused by noise. Listening to too loud music is especially related to listening to music on smartphones using headphones. Also loud music at concerts, in fitness centres and in clubs and discos play a major role.
Studies have found that many young people are at risk of a noise-induced hearing loss early in life because of their listening habits using headphones and smartphones.
Men vs. women
Previously, more men than women got a noise-induced hearing loss as men had noisier jobs, which was the major cause of hearing loss caused by noise. Today just as many women as men experience a hearing loss caused by noise. Many think that this can be explained by the fact that men and women to a large extend have the same lifestyle today.
The other major cause of hearing loss is aging. As we age our ability to hear is reduced, just like our vision changes. This is called an age-related hearing loss.
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