Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Newsy: One in Five Teens Suffer from Hearing Loss

Researchers haven't identified an exact cause for the increase in hearing loss, but many say that the growing number of iPods and ear buds are to blame.
“The volume is turned way up for kids today, but they’re hearing less. There’s been a pretty significant increase over this time period in hearing loss in American adolescents." (CBS)
Researchers haven’t identified an exact cause for the increase in hearing loss – but many say that the rapid adoption of iPods and ear buds are to blame. A new study suggests one in five adolescents suffers from hearing loss, and the problem might be more common in boys.
But CTV and Channel One News highlight a problem in mentality – some teens just don’t really care.
Nick: “I already know that it’s sort of messing up my hearing. ... I don’t really care. I like my music loud.”
"Its so loud, they put it all the way to the max."
“All the way up every time … All the older folks will say don’t listen to that because that’s going to ruin your ears. But I’m young now so I mean like I guess I’ll worry about that 30 years from now.”
Parents have been urging kids to turn down the music – but now they have at least some proof. One parent tells KTVT in Dallas that the study isn’t shocking based on teen tech habits: “I’m not surprised entirely, I have to say because they’re constantly connected to iPods, computers, and we’re constantly on them to turn them down.”
CBS explains - how when earbuds are used, sound waves travel deeper into the ear. A report show exactly what happens inside the ear when exposed to unsafe volume levels: “Sound waves travel through the ear canal to the inner ear. There, tiny hair cells convert the sound to never impulses that travel to hearing centers in the brain. Excessive noise can damage those cells and cause permanent hearing loss."
An article in Time looks at another side of hearing loss – saying when teens lose their hearing they are actually losing a lot more: “Difficulty in hearing among youngsters has been linked to slower language development, poorer performance in school and lower self-esteem. … even slight hearing loss in elementary and high school students can result in progressively lower scores on communication tests and greater anxiety.”
Researchers say 85 decibels of noise could be damaging - and when iPods are played full volume, decibel levels reach over 100

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