Why the ‘headphone generation’ are at risk of dementia

If you don’t protect your hearing, the consequences can be profound—hearing loss and a much greater chance of developing dementia.

Posted Tuesday May 9, 2023

People between the ages of 45 and 65 with untreated hearing loss have more than double the chance of developing dementia later in life. And over the last decade hearing loss is increasingly affecting a younger age group, due largely to a love of headphones, earbuds, and noisy gigs.

Many of us remember our ears ringing after a loud concert – most of the time it lasted a day or two. But imagine what that level of sound exposure for hours on end, every day, is doing to our hearing.

Any level of sound at or over 85 dB SPL can be harmful to our ears, especially over long periods of time. Music through headphones at maximum volume is 100 to 110 dB SPL, and listening for long periods can lead to significant hearing loss. With repeated exposure like this, our ears are less likely to be able to recover.

So, to protect your hearing health, keep the volume at a reasonable level, wear noise-cancelling headphones, and use ear plugs at noisy gigs.

If you would like further information, or to cite the research behind this article, refer to the full story at www.audiology.org.

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