Millennials Love — and Already Need — This Type of Hearing Aid

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Young woman cupping her ear
Roman Samborskyi /

Hearing loss is a hallmark of old age, but a surprising number of millennials and members of Generation Z already are dealing with this problem.

About 1 in every 6 to 8 middle and high school students ages 12 to 19 has measurable hearing loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most of this loss likely is the result of exposure to excessive noise, a condition known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

Some research suggests that millennials have lower rates of hearing loss than members of Generation Z. But both age cohorts report hearing damage that is significantly more widespread than it was for other generations — such as baby boomers and members of Generation X — at the same age.

You might think that the need to prematurely purchase hearing aids would fill younger, image-conscious adults with dread. But according to The Wall Street Journal, that is not necessarily the case.

Millennials are embracing a new selection of hearing aids that provide services beyond boosting the ability to hear.

These devices allow people who wear them to:

  • Take phone calls
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Track wellness data

The WSJ notes that the good old free market has played a role in the development of these newfangled hearing aids. Last October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed for the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids for the first time.

As a result, headphone designers have now pushed into the hearing aid space.

Of course, no matter how cool hearing aids become, everyone is better off if they never have to wear one — or at least delay needing them as long as possible.

The best ways to protect your hearing include:

  • Turn down the music. About half of young people listen to music and other types of audio at volumes that are too high, according to the CDC.
  • Wear earplugs. In loud situations, earplugs can reduce noise by 15 to 30 decibels, significantly lessening the risk of damage. Custom earplugs made by an audiologist do the best job. Another option is earmuffs designed to reduce noise.
  • Take breaks from noise. The longer you are in a noisy situation, the more likely you are to damage your hearing.
  • Avoid loud places when possible. Places we visit every day — movie theaters, gyms, bars and amusement centers — all can feature noise that is loud enough to damage your hearing. Steer clear of these places. Or, if possible, ask management to take steps to reduce the noise.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.