Take steps to protect your hearing now

News briefs

A study published online March 2, 2017, by JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery suggests that hearing loss is going to become a major public health issue. Using current hearing loss estimates and population projections, scientists concluded that hearing loss among adults 20 or older in the United States will go from about 44 million in 2020 to almost 74 million in 2060, with the greatest increases among older adults. The climb is expected to be gradual, except between 2020 and 2030, when researchers project that mild hearing loss among people ages 70 to 79 will jump from about nine million to 12 million people.

The study doesn't prove that hearing loss cases will increase. But scientists are urging greater attention to hearing loss prevention. Protect your hearing by wearing earplugs if you know you'll be around loud noise. For more, check out the Harvard Special Health Report Hearing Loss (www.health.harvard.edu/HL).