Global_Elements

Global_Elements

Just kidding—the last thing we want to do is damage your hearing. But that might be happening to adolescents. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, adolescents show a significant increase in hearing loss since the early ’90s. [Josef Shargorodsky et al, http://bit.ly/cXzlpY]

The study used two surveys. The first involved almost 3,000 adolescents tested between 1988 to 1994. The second involved 1,800 people tested in 2005 and 2006. There was a 31 percent increase in any kind of hearing loss in the second group versus the earlier one.

This problem affects millions of teens—one in five, according to the later survey. It can harm communication, social skills and education. The researchers don’t make causal links, though they caution that loud sound exposure from listening to music might be particularly significant to adolescents. The rise in hearing loss does correlate with a rise in MP3 players and their earbuds.

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