Young people at risk of hearing difficulties, World Health Organisation warns

The World Health Organisation says millions of young people are at risk of hearing loss by listening to loud music. They found that younger people are more at risk of developing hearing problems as they are more likely to listen to very loud music.

Around ten million (1 in 6) people in the UK suffer from some form of hearing loss. Whether it’s at a club or a live music event, more and more young people are surrounded by noise that is affecting their hearing. Around forty per cent of teenagers and young adults are exposed to excessive sound, but are often unaware of the consequences.

Chris Barlow, professor in acoustics at Southampton Solent University likens the affect music has on the ear to stalks of wheat:

“If you get wind gong across a field of wheat, it kind of ripples – they kind of bend and spring back up again. If the wind turns into a hurricane, they get knocked flat, they break and they don’t come back up again. If you put too high a sound level into the ear, exactly the same thing happens – as it gets louder and louder, the hair cells end up bending more and more because the vibration is so high.”

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