Say What? 1.1 Billion Teens Face Possible Hearing Loss

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

Have you ever heard a loud sound and afterward your ears are ringing for a while? After a few seconds the ringing may be gone and your ears appear to be fine. But what really happened after that loud noise?

“Sixteen percent of 12-to-19-year-olds have documented thresholds that are elevated due to the exposure to these loud sounds,” said Dr. Michi Diller, an audiologist in Omaha-Council Bluffs, according to “We’re definitely seeing more teens with hearing loss but we also are trying to focus on educating our patients about the importance of noise protection and preventing noise-induced hearing loss.”

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults face the risk of hearing loss “due to exposure to unsafe levels of sound,” as reported by

If anyone asks you to turn down your music while you’re wearing your earbuds, you are most likely endangering your hearing, according to

Keep the volume on your TV, radio, phone, earbuds, or headphones as low as possible. If loud tools and machinery are in use, then wearing ear protection should be a necessity. This also applies to using a lawnmowers, power drills, or other loud appliances.

Noise levels should not exceed 85 dB, which is the equivalent to a passing diesel truck. Try to reduce the noise, or wear ear protection, reported

Just by listening to music at what seems like a normal level, like loud bars, nightclubs, and participating in sporting events, you can easily damage your hearing, reported And once you hearing is gone, it won’t come back.

Rapper Plan B understands why pre cautioning is so important. He suffers from tinnitus, a type of hearing loss that causes permanent ringing in the ears, according to

“When I first developed it, I thought it was trains rushing by my house as I live near a railway line. It was really loud and an extremely high pitched ringing in my ears. I now have to wear special earplugs when I go to bed to help stop my ears from ringing,” commented Plan B, on

Inside the cochlea, or the snail- like part of the inner ear, there are thousands of tiny hair cells, according to Each of these hair cells have a stereocilia sticking up out of the top it. Sound makes the stereocilia rock back and forth. If the noise levels rise too much, the stereocilia can become broken.

“We’re not anywhere close to regrowing hair cells, which is what (makes up) the structures are in your inner ear that are damaged due to noise exposure,” Diller said to “We’re not at the point at which people can say, ‘Yeah, I can listen to loud music because I’ll be able to take a pill later on and regrow those hair cells.’ We certainly want to just work on prevention.”