Quarter of under-35s have early signs of hearing loss, study reveals

today06/12/2023 5

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A new study has revealed that a quarter of under-35-year-olds have early signs of hearing loss.

The new findings are from a study by the audiology hearing app Eargym, who analysed the hearing of over 1000 people for over four months.

Of those ages between 16 and 35 who completed what is called a “speech-in-noise” check, 24% were found to have hearing loss with 19% of the age group having possible signs of hearing loss.

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The data adds that 47% of 16-35 year-olds have an older hearing age than their biological age, with an average difference of 13 years.

Half of those in the study said that their hearing is impacting their quality of life.

According to the World Health Organisation, 1.1 billion young people are at risk of permanent hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices when enjoying recreational sounds such as music.

Eargym was founded in 2020 by former NHS CEO Amanda Philpott and DJ Andy Shank as they were both diagnosed with hearing loss.

The Eargym app is used to create realistic hearing challenges and help improve the ability to hear in difficult situations.

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Amanda Philpott tells Music Tech: “Hearing loss is an emerging crisis for young people. The majority of us will experience some form of hearing loss in our lifetimes, but it’s particularly concerning to see an unexpected number of young people worried about their hearing and showing signs of hearing difficulties.

“The good news is: that hearing loss is preventable, and we can take proactive steps to look after and improve our hearing at any age. Research shows that whilst the ear itself cannot be directly improved without hardware, the brain can learn and respond to specific auditory stimuli through regular training.”

She later adds, “The only way to understand what’s going on with our hearing is to test it regularly, so we notice when it changes. Safe listening practices, such as the use of ear defenders, gig-plugs and noise-cancelling headphones, can make the world of difference when it comes to protecting our hearing health long into our futures.”

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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