Do you get wacky on your child when he/she doesn’t listen to you and give reason that they did not hear you? Your kids might be right. A latest study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared national surveys from 1988 and 1994 to 2005 and 2006, and revealed that more than 6 million teens (nearly 20%) in the United States have some hearing loss. This is a drastic jump of 31% in hearing loss since last decade.
About the study
Dr. Josef Shargorodsky, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital led the study. The study drew raw numbers from data collected by the government’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Researchers compared hearing loss in nearly 3,000 adolescents tested during early 1990s to nearly 1,800 kids tested during mid 2000s. The findings contributed the fact that-
- The prevalence of hearing loss rose from roughly 15% to 19.5% between the first and second surveys – a total 31% increase
- One in five teens have some hearing loss
- Hearing loss can result in slower language development, poorer performance in school and lower self-esteem
- Previous studies have found that even slight hearing loss in elementary and high school students can result in progressively lower scores on communication tests and greater anxiety
Contributing factors for hearing loss
Researchers said there can be many contributing factors for the hearing loss, but the most common culprit might be excessive use of iPod, MP3 and other personal music players, used with ear buds inserted inside the ear. However, researchers areskeptical to blame these devices solely. Other factors are-
- Genetic disorders
- Premature babies, who are often more susceptible to hearing loss as they get older
- High volume, street noise, tools, yard/garden equipment, live music or earphones
- Improper diet and nutrition
- Exposure to toxins
Researchers are not sure about the actual reason for increasing hearing loss problem in teens, but advised that it is a good idea to avoid the exposure to high volume and keep the voice of music low.