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Hearing Loss Is On The Rise In Teens

teenhearingRocking a pair of pricey earbuds? Well, there’s no shame in being excited, but don’t celebrate by cranking that sound up. You could bust the delicate circuitry in that noggin of yours.

Studies show that young people ages 11 to 19 are increasingly experiencing some sort of hearing impediment. According to the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), as many as one in five teens are afflicted. And that’s not all. The scientists, who have been tracking adolescent hearing since 1988, have noticed a whopping 31 percent rise in hearing loss.

If this goes unchecked, we’re looking at some pretty severe consequences. One look at the Baby Boomer generation is all it takes to see that. Affliction rates in boomers are fast approaching the half-way mark, with roughly 44 percent showing signs of significant hearing loss by age 69. That’s nearly one out of every two people requiring a Miracle Ear or some other hearing aid.

According to Randy Judson, AuD, clinical director of audiology services at the New York Ear and Eye Infirmary, hearing loss falls into three categories: The first is conductive (CHL), which is usually due to issues in the middle ear, like a ruptured eardrum, water, ear infection or abnormal hearing bones. Then there’s sensorinueral, or noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). This comes from nerve problems which can stem from exposure to loud noises, certain medications, genetics and aging. The third type is a combination of the first two.

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