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Walk4Hearing’s this weekend, with reminder hearing loss can strike the young, too

PHOTO: Walk4Hearing brings out people of all ages to bring awareness of ways to prevent hearing loss. | Courtesy Walk4Hearing

Interesting data from the Hearing Loss Association of America as it gets ready for the organization’s fund-raiser, Walk4Hearing, which steps off in Lincoln Park on Sunday (Sept. 27). Check out information about the 5k walk here.

We often think hearing loss is something that happens to the elderly. However, hi HealthInnovations’ Adrienne Tarnoff says one of the overlooked problems is the increase in hearing loss in young people. She offers a sobering statistic from the World Health Organization: worldwide, an estimated 1.1 billion teenagers and young people (those between 12 and 35) are at risk of developing some sort of hearing loss.

Adrienne Tarnoff

Part of the problem is our world is getting noisier, Tarnoff says, and some of us are exposed to loud sounds at our jobs and while we’re out having fun. She also points to earbuds as another factor. Many use them to listen to music and movies at too-high levels AND for long periods of time.

There are ways to combat the problem. For instance, with earbuds, Tarnoff recommends what’s called the 60/60 rule: don’t use them for more than 60 minutes at a time AND only use them at 60 percent of the device’s maximum volume. Tarnoff also suggests using earplugs at concerts and sporting events.

Don’t think because you aren’t noticing hearing problems now that all is well. Some 20 percent of Americans experiences hearing loss, according to the Association. Hearing loss happens gradually, so take care of yours while you can.