Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1 in 5 U.S. Teens Has a Hearing Loss

The big news in my Google Reader today seems to be the new findings, covered here in USA Today, and led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that one in five United States teenagers has hearing loss. This is an increase of 31% from the mid-1990s.

According to the article, "Most cases of hearing loss are slight, affecting only one ear and involving mostly high-frequency sounds [...] About one in 20 have "mild or worsening" hearing loss, which can make them struggle to follow conversations or teachers at school."

Interestingly, the study doesn't seem to correlate listening to loud music with the hearing loss - they conducted interviews with several thousand kids and found that kids who listened to loud music for five hours or more a week were not more likely to have hearing loss. Other studies, however, have linked portable music players to a 70% increased risk of loss. Poor health in general can also contribute to hearing loss.

Teens may have a tendency to ignore their parents and think of themselves as invincible, but I remember going through school with a hearing loss. My loss was recognized and I have hearing aids, but I remember feeling stupid for not being able to follow directions or missing out on conversations. I didn't like feeling that way even when I knew I could blame my difficulty hearing. The problems kids might face from a slight hearing loss in school now, especially an unrecognized one, could magnify exponentially by college and by the time they enter the workforce.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your blog,Hearing loss refers to conditions in which individuals are partially or fully unable to detect or perceive at least some frequencies of sound which can typically be heard by members of their species.A number of factors can lead to hearing loss,and about half the time,no cause is found.


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