Are Loud Media Players Causing Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Teens?

Study: Cranked Earbuds Contribute to Spike in Teen Hearing Loss

For today’s teens, dangling earbuds are as ubiquitous as facial jewelry.

But a recent study shows that unlike adornments, they could be far from harmless.

An article in the August 18, 2010 issue of JAMA concludes that one in five American adolescents experienced hearing loss from 2005-2006.

What’s more, this represents an increase of over 30% from hearing loss rates from 1988-1994.

Although the authors of the study refrain from blaming loud media players, many experts argue that excessive music listening volume is the culprit.

Examining the Evidence For Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Among the study’s conclusions:

most hearing loss was slight

most loss was in the high-frequency range (a common sign of noise damage)

males were more likely to suffer hearing loss than females

The study also concludes that exposure to loud recreational noise were not significant contributors to adolescent hearing loss, which narrows the list of possible causes.

Are earbuds and loud music responsible for the increase in adolescent hearing loss?

Watch this CBS news video for more information to help you decide.