Teenager Hearing Problems

More young people suffer from a hearing problem than ever before; according to a late study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The hearing loss among teenagers has risen by nearly a third in 20 years, with the contributing factors pointing back to youngsters listening to personal music players such as iPods.

One in five teens experience some form of hearing impairment between 2005 and 2006, a record 30% more than in research carried out between 1988 and 1994.

Although the findings come from data on American teenagers, British experts are warning that young people in this country are suffering similar problems.

Listening to excessive levels of loud music through headphones are said to an aspect contributing to the shocking figures.

The study, carried out at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, America, found that around 15% of 12-19-year-olds reported some degree of hearing loss between 1988 and 1994; this climbed to 19.5% by 2005/6.

The majority of hearing problems were labelled as ‘slight’ but the number of cases of mild or worse hearing loss was 77% higher in the later survey.

The findings revealed that girls were less likely to be affected, whilst those below the poverty line were at higher risk.

The European Commission has warned that up to 10 % of people aged 30 may have to wear a hearing aid within a decade because they listen to music too loudly through headphones.

Surveys show more than 90% of young people in Europe and the U.S. use MP3 players for several hours a day at maximum volume.

Hearing experts recommend you should listen for no more than 60 minutes at a time and at 60 per cent of maximum volume.

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) found that 66% of British iPod users listen to music at a volume louder than the EU’s.

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