August 17th, 2010
06:13 PM ET

Adolescent hearing loss on the rise in U.S.

Do you ever get the impression your teen is just not hearing you? Well, maybe he's not. Literally. According to a new study, more American adolescents may be suffering from early signs of hearing loss than previously estimated.

Researchers looking at hearing loss in people ages 12 to 19 found that when compared with data from the mid-1990s there has been a 30 percent increase in the development of minimal levels of hearing loss, and a 77 percent increase in more serious hearing problems – those where obvious communication difficulties can be observed.  About one in 20 children experienced hearing loss in 1994, and that number jumped to about one in 5, or an estimated 6.5 million adolescents, by 2006.

“What we're seeing is a big jump in the prevalence of hearing loss in a very short period of time, in less than one generation,” says Dr. Roland Eavey, an author on the study. “That means we're on the front edge of an epidemic.” The results were published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hearing loss is a serious problem that can lead to developmental delays for school-aged children. Even though the condition is common, getting to the root of the problem remains a challenge.

The authors of the JAMA article conclude that more studies are needed to determine the exact cause of the increase. “We see smoke,” Eavey explains. “We’re not sure where the fire is yet, but we know it’s not good for the woods to be burning."

Dr. Gordon Hughes, an otolaryngologist with the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, agrees that the findings are significant and says the next step is moving beyond epidemiological analyses.

“You're taking a cross section of the population in certain age groups, and then comparing what you see from then to now,” he explains. “You cannot prove cause and effect with that.”

Both Eavey and Hughes say future studies should probe more specifically into questions about noise and music.  Even though the 2005 – 2006 survey included a question asking participants whether they had been exposed to loud noise or music for five hours or more a week, Eavey says adolescents may simply reply “no” to a question either because they don’t understand the significance, or because to them a loud rock concert might be the norm. Asking "have you experienced ringing in your ears in the last three months," could really help pinpoint the cause, he suggests.

Despite the absence of a causal link, experts say technological trends popular among adolescents can’t be ignored.

"I believe this is rooted in a cultural paradigm shift in terms of how electronics have become 'the thing,'” says Tommie Robinson, president of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. "Everyone has something in their ears."

According to the Consumer Electronics Association the first MP3 player went on sale in the U.S. in 1998, and today it is projected that MP3 players will outsell all other home audio products for the sixth consecutive year in 2010. Portable MP3 players remain among the list of top products teens request during the holiday season.

Recent reports find that not only do teenagers play music at louder volumes, but they are completely unaware they are doing so, and Robinson says this new data support the need for concern about how the devices are used. “I'm not surprised by these results,” he says. “You could see it coming.”

For parents who are concerned there are things you can do. “If you’re giving your 12-year-old an iPod, one proactive thing you can do is set the volume limit on the device,” Eavey suggests. Apple provides detailed instructions on how to do this on its website. Also, the Listen to Your Buds website provides resources to help your child understand when it’s time to turn down the volume. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Commnication Disorders website includes a How Loud Is Too Loud bookmark that explains the decibels of common noises and how much prolonged exposure is considered unsafe. And if you suspect your child might already suffer from some hearing loss, you can find a certified audiologist in your city on the ASHA website.

“It’s important that families keep in mind that hearing cannot be replaced,” Robinson says. “Once it's gone, it's gone.”

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soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Dale Farthart Jr.

    Obviously this is directly related to kids today blowing their eardrums out with headphones and such. I see it everyday on the bus. I like listening to music as much as the next guy but you don't need to make yourself deaf while doing it.

    August 17, 2010 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nemo

      Dr Gupta should have given advice about selecting headphones/earbuds. A lot of the suggestions that earbuds are to blame arent true at all. The problem is with cheap ones (the less damaging they are the more expensive however, hundreds of dollars), the earbuds supplied by apple are ones that cause damage since they dont block out ambient noise. If you listen to your music at a good volume and then theres a lot of noise in the next room you will turn the volume up therein lies the problem. Ambient noise needs to be canceled out or else you cant hear your music and then you make it louder to hear it. THAT is the reason why people dont realize its THAT loud because the noise around them is louder.

      August 17, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
    • nemo

      I mean canceled out/blocked the less expensive ones that block out noise are better than the ones given by apple if you want something better than use noise canceling which are more expensive and require battery power. However, therein lies another problem with these you really cant hear whats going around at all, so exercise caution and dont use them while walking/driving

      August 17, 2010 at 21:52 | Report abuse |
    • janet

      I'm not surprised at these findings. As a language teacher, my students and I often use the computer lab/headphones for listening exercises. I am constantly amazed at the high level they keep the volume at, once or twice I tried to listen at the same volume and it literally gave me an earache! Then too, think of the excessively high volume that many folks keep their car radios at – can they really enjoy anything at that level?

      August 17, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      My father does research in audiology. After listening to an MP3 player just once, he told us causes hearing loss - quickly and efficiently. Teens think they are immortal, so they won't modify their behavior unless we make them.

      But... has anyone noticed how incredibly loud toys are for young children? We don't let our four year old play with some of her toys, because they are too loud and have no quieter setting.

      August 18, 2010 at 01:27 | Report abuse |
    • wzrd1

      Sorry, nemo. I disagree. I was young myself and can remember how loud I played my stereo AND when using full over the ear headphones, how loud I kept the volume. And that was in a silent room.
      Then, should we discuss car stereo systems that literally bounce the rear window glass visibly, as well as being loudly audible on the street? I've had to pause conversations when outside due to the din coming from a car 100 feet away that had it windows closed.
      I have noise induced hearing loss secondary to an accident in the military some years ago. My hearing certainly isn't getting better as I age either. It certainly isn't getting better being near a television at my father's house, as he worked construction and is now slightly less deaf than a post. Our typical conversation is "huh?" Huh? "Huh?" Huh? Rinse, repeat...
      I personally call an mp3 player an ear incinerator. But, I'll be honest, I can't rightly recall just WHERE I put my Bose headphones or my earbuds, I play the iPod on my car stereo or on a dock in the house.
      And my windows don't vibrate when I play it.
      But, when the mp3 player began selling well, I had told my wife and friends that we'll be expected to pay for millions of kids hearing aids before we turn 50. So far, it looks like we're on track!
      There is a nice, little organ in the inner ear. It's called the cochlea. It has rows of "hair" cells that detect sound by the appropriate cell being bent slightly in proportion to its length and the frequency of sound hitting it that corresponds to the length (it's called wavelength).
      I remember seeing a scanning electron micrograph (photo of the microscope image) of the cochlea of a mouse that was exposed to high noise levels, such as many Americans are exposed to either through occupational exposure or via loud music. The destruction was incredible. Instead of nice, neat rows of hair cells, it looked like Mount St Helens after the eruption! Cells bowled over, broken off, dead.
      After that, I at least more fully understood why the phone is always ringing...

      August 18, 2010 at 09:03 | Report abuse |
  2. Kat

    I don't think this is headphone-related. I think it's earbud-style headphone related. In-ear headphones sound significantly louder in comparison to the older, over-ear basic headphones we all had for our walkmans and discmans 15-20yrs ago. These days, everyone has either earbuds or the over-ear "noise canceling" style of headphones, which limit your ability to compare ambient noise to the volume level of your headphones. And, of course, everyone gets a pair of these style of headphones (though not the most in-ear of in-ear styles) with every iPod purchased.

    August 17, 2010 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nemo

      your absolutely WRONG!!!!!!!!
      the in ear earpieces are preferred, only if they are noise canceling. The problems is actually the opposite of what you say, its because the earpieces kids wear are cheap and not noise canceling or even squishy foam that act like earplugs. The reason for this is that you DONT want ambient noise, because ppl will overcompensate for it eg. traffic noise which you then turn up the volume. With noise canceling or decent squishy earbuds you block out ambient noise and therefore will select a lower volume. Dont give out bad advice, the advice you give is the reason why kids are going deaf nowadays

      August 17, 2010 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
    • lewax00

      I have to agree with nemo here, I only turn up my music to drown out ambient noise. When I had a pair of noise canceling head phones (they broke, sadly) I listened to music at a much lower level.

      August 18, 2010 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
  3. someoneElse

    Duh. When I can listen along to the words when they have earbuds in, well ...

    August 17, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Paul Ronco

    The science is clear: Listening to those little in-ear headphones is bad for the ears. Never use them.

    August 17, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Paul Ronco

    Yes, earbuds that go into the ear canal as opposed to headphones that rest outside the ears. The earbuds are the problem. I never use them.

    August 17, 2010 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. realworld

    It'd be a shame if they couldn't hear Jersey Shore or video games any more.

    August 17, 2010 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. pumpernickle

    I love Skullcandy, I only use the ear buds when I'm skateboarding, or on the bus. Other than that, Skullcandy Lowriders

    August 17, 2010 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PickleButt

      'Earbuds when skateboarding'? Are you serious? Then someone hits you with a car because you couldnt hear it coming and the drive gets blamed simply because you look worse after being hit by a car than a car does. No one even blames the pedestrian even if he was stupid enough to wear headphones while skateboarding.

      August 18, 2010 at 14:49 | Report abuse |
    • LDM

      At that speed, if you can hear the car, it's too late. Earbuds are fine.

      August 19, 2010 at 23:58 | Report abuse |
  8. Dale

    Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom

    August 17, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. arman

    i think its the rock concert and stuff that people go to. Because ppl listned to loud music back den with dem walkietalkies nd shit

    August 17, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Seraphim0

      Tell me you're not serious, Arman. You don't think concerts in the 70's, 80's and 90's were loud? Guess again.

      August 18, 2010 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
  10. Lord Captain

    Another report from the university of Du'uh!

    Remember this in another few years when (The government starts paying, you start paying) they start collecting disability checks for becoming deaf; even if they, themselves were the cause...

    August 17, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen

      OMG!! My greatest fear is you may be dead on 100% correct with this!

      August 17, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
    • Heidi

      So the punks who destroy everyone else's peace and quiet by driving their boom cars up and down the road... we get to be annoyed and frustrated by it now (since law enforcement never seems to do anything about it) AND we get the 'privilege' of paying for their hearing loss later. There's adding insult to injury.

      August 18, 2010 at 00:21 | Report abuse |
  11. Arcturus

    It could also be cell phone radiation or volume from the phone's speaker directly against one's ear. It's probably not as likely of a culprit as earbuds and loud music, but it's definitely worth a look.

    August 17, 2010 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Shane

    The rise of new viruses, allergens, autoimmune diseases and toxins are also to blame. Kids have been listening to loud music for decades, and it's ignorant to point this out as the most likely cause. Our world is becoming more toxic and disease-ridden every decade because of overpopulation, pollution, and climate change. Medicine is in the dark ages when it comes to unexplained hearing loss.

    August 17, 2010 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • suzannah

      It is NOT unexplained – it is as plain as the vibrating speakers around us – whether in your car or in your ear canals. Denial eventually costs us all.

      August 18, 2010 at 19:20 | Report abuse |
  13. kyle

    Im 18 and I can testify that I've blasted music in my years before and seen tons of kids do it. It wouldn't surprise me if it was linked to new electronic trends.

    August 17, 2010 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. VANewsMan

    Duh! If your music is rattling your windows, what do you think it's doing to your ear drums? Ear buds may be a problem too, but I think the main problem is volume. Louder is not better!

    Look for federal regulations coming soon to once again save us from our own stupidity.

    August 17, 2010 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PickleButt

      You are spot on! People whine and complain about 'my rights, my rights' then when their RIGHT to do something stupid bites them in the butt, they want help to save them from themselves. Here's a clue. PREVENT the problem but not blowing the crap out of your eardrums in the first place Nimrods.

      August 18, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
  15. Billie

    I'm 22 and a few years ago I went to an audiologist and he told me not to use my iPod as much as I did because I had lost 14% of my hearing in one ear. He also told me to wear earplugs to concerts and clubs. I can feel like I have lost a bit more in the past few months. I started using noise canceling headphones and those are responsible for this, I'm too scared to use them now, they would literally make my ears hurt after 15 minutes or so of use and I have a set volume limit on my iPod. The best headphones I have bought are these Samsung ones that are made especially for kids.

    August 17, 2010 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Larry David

    Huh?....I can't hear anything in this article

    August 17, 2010 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Karen

    When I am forced to listen to the Boom Boom Boom music from 3 blocks away and when they drive by my house and the foundation shakes, well, DUHHHHHH!!!
    Yeah earbuds and the like are contributors also. However, this blasting everyone with their "music" against our will is coming back to haunt the little buzzards.
    What Lord Captain said I fear will be the truth. "Remember this in another few years when (The government starts paying, you start paying) they start collecting disability checks for becoming deaf; even if they, themselves were the cause..."
    AHHHHHHH!! That would be double the torture!!

    August 17, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Neil

    I am not surprised. I'm a physics teacher and every year for the past 26 years I do a hearing test with the class and test the highest frequencies my students can hear. Starting above 20,000 Hz and lowering the frequency until you can hear it, I have the kids raise their hand when they can first hear the sound as the frequency goes down. Usually I am the last one to raise my hand (I'm 51 years old), but the last few years, I'm not always the last to hear the sound. I've had kids who were really worse than me and these were the kids who always listen to music with their headphones so loudly one could hear the music from across the room. This finding is exactly what I've been telling the kids was going to happen over the past 10 years when the huge jump in the numbers of students who use headphones started. I try so hard to convince them to turn it down and protect their hearing, but they are kids. Nothing is going to hurt them. The problem with hearing loss is that it occurs slowly (most often) and you don't realize your hearing is getting worse until it is too late.

    August 17, 2010 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. VegasRage

    Just turned 44 and just really enjoyed seeing RUSH blast my ears out with kicking music at 150 decibels, I've listened to my music insanely loud for easily 35 years and I still hear just fine.

    August 17, 2010 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Tim Doogan

    Actually, it is a combination of using in-ear headphones and the way digitized music affects your ears. Granted, the quality of the mp3 audio files is much better than it was 10 years ago – AAC being even better – but hearing digital sound is inherently unnatural.

    August 17, 2010 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. SandyinSD

    I just retired as a teacher. Students were allowed to listen to music to help them focus on work. I was amazed at how often I could hear their music. This was outside the securely fitted earbuds. I've been concerned for years, but people feel it is their inalienable right to destroy their hearing.

    August 17, 2010 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • suzannah

      and it is – I just don't want them taking MINE with it

      August 18, 2010 at 19:16 | Report abuse |
  22. Tsshhh

    On the contrary, you stupid old people are getting quieter; losing your voices from telling everyone else what to do. Shut-up! We can hear you fine but we don't give a s%$!t.

    August 17, 2010 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tvessia

      ummm...really?!? good luck to you.

      August 18, 2010 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
  23. CC

    Don't forget attending movies at movie theaters– I seldom go to the movies, but when I do the sound is PAINFULLY loud. I also ONCE attended a church service where the music was so loud the chairs and floor were literally vibrating. (I never went there again). And 4th of July festivities are fun, but the music for the local one I attend can be heard from several blocks away... And air shows are fun, but the noise!!!! Lately I have been trying to travel with ear plugs, but they aren't particularly comfortable, and only block so much noise... Anyway, while personal headphones/earbuds might certainly play a major role in hearing loss among the younger generation, it can be pretty difficult to get away from noise...

    August 17, 2010 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. sunsohot

    OK, show of hands...who is surprised by this finding?

    August 17, 2010 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      ... and a hush comes over the room, as we look out over a sea of un-raised hands...

      August 18, 2010 at 22:17 | Report abuse |
  25. Russ

    Some people here do not know a thing about what causes hearing loss. I would like to give you a short lesson. Inside the ear is a structure called the cochlea. Inside that are hairs of different sizes and thickness that respond to sound. The most delicate ones are those that respond to high frequencies. When someone is exposed to loud sound these small hairs, which are cells, can be damaged. They can be damaged quickly from an explosion, or over a long period of time from exposure to loud noise or music. These cells do not regenerate. That portion of the person's hearing is then gone. It does not matter if the earbuds/headphones have ambient noise filtering. The loudness of the sound, and or length of exposure to it, is what causes damage. Headphones/earbuds are especially problematic because sound is directed into the ear from a very short distance without the possibility for it to be changed by other frequencies existing in the environment. In effect, the person is getting 100 proof sound. Music, just a sweet alcoholic mixed drinks, mask the potential for problems. Then too, hip hop/rap music is popular today. It is not only loud, but the words are mixed with the sounds and can be difficult to understand. The listener will usually turn up the volume to hear the words. It is also popular to listen to it loudly and to have very loud sound systems in cars. These are the problems as I see them. Before there was amplification of music, few people had hearing loss from it. Then, when musicians stood in front of amplifiers many of them started having hearing loss, but the audience usually didn't. They might go home with their ears ringing, but would recuperate. Today, the audience is bathed in sound from morning to bed time. It is a prescription for severe hearing loss.

    August 18, 2010 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Crady


    August 18, 2010 at 00:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. mojojo

    I wish I could remember the statistic, perhaps someone else has heard it too... that if you listen to your music at 80% of the max volume for even as short as 45 minutes, you will begin to experience hearing loss over time. But that's been several years past, and I don't remember where that came from.

    After 3 years of drumline/marching band, many concerts in my 20s, and just plain cranking the car radio up, I am very concerned for my hearing. I never notice the faint ring in my ears until it's COMPLETELY silent. Which isn't often. Think about it...the refigerator, fan, lights, computer tower, traffic, tv, radio, cell, iPod...all give off noise. Most is just white noise, but when is it ever truly silent around you? When the power goes out. 😛

    Foamy earplugs are cheap, and sometimes in the first-aid/ knee brace/ ace bandage section of the drugstore. Or a Home Depot/ Lowe's type place will have them with safety gear.

    And you don't need your earbuds up past 40-50% percent anyways. I don't know how the kids deal with any louder. After 50%, it starts making me crazy.

    Thanks for the advice about the noise cancelling headphones, I need to look into that.

    August 18, 2010 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ender8305

      for those posting about earplugs, another place to get them is online. I buy them in bulk from construction supply stores. They don't block out all the noise, but definatly help.
      As to loud music and headphones/earbuds, sure its going to make my generation deaf early. But we are the "I want it my way, right now and your opion be damned" generation so when the hewaring loss appears in the next few years it will be someone elses fault. MP3 makers should have kept the players from being able to be played too loud or the headphone makers should have set limits... its never our own stupidity that causes it...blame someone else for your problems! (please note the sarcasm here). It's times like these that i'm ashamed of my generation and all of our stupidity.

      August 18, 2010 at 16:40 | Report abuse |
  28. Chris

    22 years old here, I have noticed in the last year that I receive a ringing in my ears sometimes as well as a sudden cut-out of sound at times, undoubtedly due to my music volume, I'm not gonna lie, the music I like is just loud and the earbuds don't help. I'm cutting back on earbud use, using lower volume, but the damage is probably done already. I'll probably pay for this later on, but the only thing I can no now is prevent further damage.

    August 18, 2010 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      Good thinking, Chris! I'm 48 and have some natural hearing loss (only went to one America concert in the 70's and never listened to loud music) and I can tell you that it's absolutely no fun to be asking people to repeat what they said. I am constantly asking my husband what actors are saying in TV shows that we watch. Take care of your hearing and it will last that much longer as you age.

      August 18, 2010 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
  29. Warmer

    iPods in europe were given a maximum volume that is lower than in the US because it was blaringly obvious that turning it all the way up would cause permanent damage. with iOS4 all ipods updated got lower maximum volumes. Just like a car that can go to 140 mph, anyone that gets in it wants to experience what it can do. 140 db and 140 mph are both dangerous to your health for different reasons. It's the volume and the length of time exposed to it more than the ear buds themselves. I produce music for a living and if you listen at high volumes for as little as 5 minutes your ears become attenuated to the sound and naturally (clamp down) the frequency response to protect themselves. Because of this I take break at least once an hour for 5 minutes in a relatively quite room. Some people have their ipods blaring for hours on end and it takes as little as 10 minutes at maximum volumes to begin to do damage. Education is key. I don't think apple does nearly a good enough job at explaining the possible dangers of listening at such high volumes.

    August 18, 2010 at 01:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ender8305

      why should apple and other mp3 player makers have to explain the dangers? Are we going to get to the point that they will need a surgon general warning like cigaretts?

      August 18, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
  30. AM

    i'm 16 and i have noticed slight hearing loss. I have trouble hearing people sometimes, its as if i can't understand people when they are talking to me sometimes.

    I don't play my music super loud tho, but i do play it fairly loud. Loud enough that i cant hear my annoying brother blabbler in the car. I also play music on with the bass on really heavy. I have noticed once in a while i hear a ringing noise too. But that has happened only 3 times in my life, but all 3 where in the past 6 months.

    I shoot guns too

    So yeah, blame iPods because thats what hurt me

    August 18, 2010 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gmas

      Read Warmer, blame stupidity, and if you don't wera earplugs when shooting then you can only blame yourself.
      I had temporary hearing loss for a month in one ear and believe me, it's not a joke nor will it matter what you think caused it ,if its permanent its hell. If you take it lightly now at 16, then sign up for sign language classes to get a headstart.

      August 18, 2010 at 02:13 | Report abuse |
  31. HeavyMetal4Life

    They said the same thing when I was a kid and the walkman came out. 25 year later my hearing is just fine. kthxbai

    August 18, 2010 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gmas

      consider yourself lucky, my friend in high schoool ,put in a sound system that rocked his car, at 30 he had hearing problems and he knew damn well what caused it. Rush, Boston, and the who.

      August 18, 2010 at 02:04 | Report abuse |
  32. Celeste

    I don't think this issue has to do with earbuds directly. Obviously if someone several feet away can hear what you are playing of your headphones, especially earbuds in your ears, then you are playing the music at a damaging level. I would think that earbuds are fine, as long as you limit the volume. The same probably goes for over the ear headsets and car stereos.

    August 18, 2010 at 03:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Ray

    It should be obvious (and I seem to remember seeing previous studies pointing to this), that the trend towards using earbuds is a significant change that 'happens' to coincide with this increase in hearing loss. To pump music directly into the ear, right next to the ear drum, has been shown to progressively degrade hearing sensitivity. Sure, reducing the volume would help, but it would be better for people to simply go back to headphones that go around the ear, rather than pushing buds into the ear. And even though they're smaller than headphones, it's not like earbuds are any less visible than headphones, so there's no real advantage to using them.

    August 18, 2010 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Yoda

    I'm pushing 40 and at no point in my life have most of my peers regularly used earplugs at electronically amplified concerts. I always wear them, and I'm usually one of few doing so in the audience. But I noticed that I was alone in asking people to repeat themselves often in places with loud background noise. I figured, either a lot of people are going along with a lot conversations they don't entirely hear, or I'm losing my hearing! I got tested, and my suspicion was correct–my ears are working flawlessly.

    Fake your way through conversations if you want... but protect your hearing for the long haul!

    August 18, 2010 at 04:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. chewakka

    no musical education, bad taste, bad friends, drugs, alcohol, sex drive, tendency to violence and so on ...
    the list goes on.

    August 18, 2010 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Rick

    I regularly see teenagers wearing headphones/earbuds while listening to the music at extremely loud levels. And they seem to not be concerned about hearing loss. It's no wonder researchers have discovered degrading hearing. Turn the volume down is the best advise.

    August 18, 2010 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Darnit

    But...but....I thought it was cool if you were a teen driving down the street with the car falling apart because you have its bass turned up as loud as possible!

    August 18, 2010 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. SFB

    Given what passes for 'music' these days, it's no big loss. Screw young people.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • christine


      August 18, 2010 at 12:57 | Report abuse |
  39. christine


    August 18, 2010 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Anon4242

    Yep – the loud noise starts early. I use to put lots of stickers over the speaker parts of my sons toys to lower the noise level. Has anyone measured the average level of noise inside a Chuck E Cheese on a Sat afternoon? I use to bring earplugs to keep me from getting headaches. I have never understood why a car stereo has to have volume that's so high it could be heard outside of the car while it's windows were closed or why a movie theaters volume has to be loud enough so the floor shakes. If you want to go deaf, feel free to put the headphones on your ears, turn the volume up and more power to you, but you don't have to knock out the hearing of every one within a 10 ft radius around you.

    August 18, 2010 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • suzannah

      amen – whatever became of enforcing noise ordinances?

      August 18, 2010 at 19:14 | Report abuse |
  41. Gitfidl

    Boom boxes. This is a no brainer. They think it is machismo, but it is stupid lie wearing your hat backwards or having your pants down to show off your bxxx. All dumb stuff. Maybe they can take up bungee jumping without learning to tie the knot (or sky diving without a chute - splat!) Monkey see monkey do.

    August 18, 2010 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Matt

    It's not that earbuds are "worse" than open-ear headphones by design. It's that at the same volume/power level from the player, the earbuds generate a higher SPL (Sound Pressure Level, ie "decibels") in your ears. That happens because the drivers are smaller, and closer to your ear, and less sound escapes outside. So at the same volume setting, earbuds are effectively louder, and open headphones (or big closed-ear DJ-style headphones) are quieter. Most portable music players have enough power to drive fairly large headphones at a reasonably loud volume level. But thatmeans they can drive earbuds at dangerously loud levels when turned all the way up.

    If you can hear the music from someone's earbuds and they're sitting more than a couple feet away from you, they're probably slowly destroying their hearing. Education helps - but you'll often run into the problem that teenagers won't listen to adults telling them to turn their music down.

    August 18, 2010 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. LDM

    Or, maybe, you know, maybe it's just that there's more congenital hearing loss than expected? It's not like universal hearing tests at birth will track these cases (I lost mine over time), and even that is new enough that it's only universal on under 20yo people.
    As for the alarmist tone: cultural challenge, etc, blah blah. People will figure out how to get used to it. I know a few club kiddies who learned ASL to communicate over the loud music after all :p

    August 18, 2010 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. suzannah

    Better news would have been that window rattling car stereos kill sperm

    August 18, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. suzannah

    Maybe it's because the last few generations seem to think every moment of life has to be lived to the accompaniment of a soundtrack. I can't even buy groceries without having to tolerate some employee's favorite music overhead. When's the last time you went into a dentist's or doctor's office without having to listen to music, or worse, a television in the waiting room? And how many of your acquaintances have the TV OFF in their homes ever? And what restaurant offers you the option of eating sans music? Does this generation even know what nature sounds like – or silence?

    August 18, 2010 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. J.R.

    Hey does anyone know where I can find the data on this study? I'm really curious about this.

    August 20, 2010 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Scottie

    Actually all of you are wrong, sort of. I am the parent of a deaf child and I know way more about noise and hearing than anyone without a degree should. Noise is noise is noise.......Too loud is too loud. It does not matter where the noise is coming from. All the noise has to do is hit the right decible and you're done. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, are notorious causes of hearing loss. If you ever notice that landscapers have on ear protection. (Unfortunately under that protection they often have on earbuds to their ipod). We need to protect oru ears, simple as that from all extraneous noise. I went to a concert recently, and was kickig myself for not having earplugs. I stayed in the back most of the time to get away from the speakers. One noise is not better than another, and it definitely does not discriminate.

    August 21, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Alcoholism Treatment :

    car stereos that are made by Kenwooda are the best and very durable~;'

    October 26, 2010 at 09:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jim Waters

    I am an MBA Student at Saint Mary's College in California. Our marketing class is helping to promote a new product from a very small company. We are not promoting a business, more of an awareness about a new product. We are very sensitive to the issue of hearing loss and are donating proceeds of the project to The International Hearing Foundation (IHF), based out of Minneapolis, MN. They are a very genuine foundation taking care of people of all ages with hearing loss. They help in many poor countries all over the world. Our project is to attract attention to the product via social media. If this post is offensive in any way. Please respond and we will discontinue the effort via forums.

    There is an option for rebellious teens listening to music at high volume and damaging their hearing. Check out PUREBUDS via Google, Amazon or Facebook. PUREBUDS are premium audiophile earbuds with unique technology to reduce hearing loss. LIKE us on Facebook.

    November 28, 2012 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Cyrus Overlie

    Car radioes that are digital are the best since they last longer than analog ones. '

    <a href="Remember to find out about our blog

    December 2, 2012 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.