Do you notice that you have to turn the volume up to hear music or TV?  Do you sometimes misunderstand words people are saying? You could have hearing loss. March 3rd is World Hearing Day. Hearing loss is more common than you would think. A shocking one-third of adults from ages 65 to 75 in the United States have some degree of hearing loss. However, older people are not the only ones suffering from some form of hearing loss.

Hearing loss in children and young adults has been on the rise. So what is causing the hearing loss in younger people? Whether it is video games, using headphones at full volume, or attending loud events like sporting events and concerts, children and young adults are constantly listening to a barrage of loud noises. This is called noise-induced hearing loss. Since it comes on gradually, noise-induced hearing loss is harder to detect than other types of hearing loss.  You may not notice a ringing in your ears after being exposed to loud noise, or perhaps you cannot make out all the words someone is saying or you find you are constantly turning up the volume on the TV or other devices. These could all be signs of early hearing loss.

So, how can we tell if we have experienced hearing loss? There is a free app created by the World Health Organization (WHO) called "hearWHO" that you can download on your phone. It is very simple to use and only takes about 5 minutes to detect any amount of hearing loss and determine the status of your hearing. Early detection of hearing loss can be beneficial in the long run. It can make us more aware of our activities so we can make changes to our habits, no matter what our age. Take the short test and find out if it is time to turn down the TV, take a break from the headphones, and monitor any further hearing changes. 

hearWHO banner with QR code: Check your hearing!

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