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August 18th, 2010
08:17 AM ET

More and more teens are suffering from hearing loss in the U.S.

Do you ever get the impression your teen is just not hearing you? Well, maybe he's not. Literally. According to a new study, more American adolescents may be suffering from early signs of hearing loss than previously estimated.

Researchers looking at hearing loss in people ages 12 to 19 found that when compared with data from the mid-1990s there has been a 30 percent increase in the development of minimal levels of hearing loss, and a 77 percent increase in more serious hearing problems - those where obvious communication difficulties can be observed. About one in 20 children experienced hearing loss in 1994, and that number jumped to about one in 5, or an estimated 6.5 million adolescents, by 2006.

"What we're seeing is a big jump in the prevalence of hearing loss in a very short period of time, in less than one generation," says Dr. Roland Eavey, an author on the study. "That means we're on the front edge of an epidemic." The results were published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers say more studies are needed to determine the exact cause but many point to noise, music and earbuds. So, how do we convince teens to turn the music down?

Email us your ideas and Kyra will read some of your comments in the 10am hour of CNN Newsroom

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Filed under: Anchors • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Karyn

    Here's my idea for getting the teens to turn the music down. Its a two part program. First, find someone to develop ear bud which do not play music loud enough to damage hearing. (based on medical research, advice) Or, find a company that already makes these. Second, bring together a group of teens with significant hearing loss that can be tracked back to their ear bud use and work with them to put together an informational and preventative program. This program could travel to various High schools or Middle schools throughout the country. The teens could tell their story both verbally, and by their own condition demonstrate the negative effects of listening to music too loud. Encourage students to use the new ear buds by giving out some free sets of them to students.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  2. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Its the boom boxes sitting in the back seat of the car melting there brains I use to could hear my step daughter coming home from two miles away .

    August 18, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  3. Ben Martling

    the is with the electronic gadgets that our kids are using. they will listen their rock and roll, too loud. There should some type of green light warning when the music is too loud so they'd turn down a bit.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  4. Terrence Mckeller

    Give them ear plugs to wear in their ears for a couple of hours to simulate impaired hearing which will happen in years to come if they don't turn it down now!

    August 18, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  5. Robin O Norris

    Kids are listening thei music 24/7, on their Ipods or Mp3s. And the volume is too loud. My young nephew has already developed some hearing problems.
    Bye for now.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  6. Cecilia

    Tell them to take out their ear buds and play their music through speakers. It might bother you at first (if you're not into their music) but it worked for my kids.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  7. Dee in new Paris OHIO

    There is NO way to get the kids to turn down the loud music. Period.

    The only possible way would be for the kids to OBEY their parents when told what to do, for their own good. And parents lost the ability to MAKE their children obey years ago.

    The old adage says it best. Spare the rod, spoil the child! Well, we have certaiinly accomplished that!

    August 18, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  8. mike sey

    Since you asked, the only way to convince teens to turn down the music on their I-pods is to require by law that the manufacturers imbed in their portable music devices unbearable screeches and static that are activated automatically when the music exceeds certain decibel levels – sort of like mandating emission levels and mileage standards in cars and gasoline.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  9. Cash Mignon

    My daughter wears the earbuds. The first time I heard how loud she was playing her ipod while in her ears I was disturbed. I did take the Ipod and lock the volume control with a code only I know. | hope this is still good enough to save her hearing.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  10. Fred

    I don't know what the answer is about teenagers & listening to music too loud, but very interesting Newrroom nonetheless. Some great & inspiring stories over the last week!!! Thank you so much. Congrats.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  11. Dr. Leon J. Woodard

    Its the cell phone plus the Earphone bluetooths

    August 18, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  12. na

    Apple and other manufacturers should introduce parental locks to mp3 players, thus allowing parents to set maximum volume levels.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  13. Juanita

    I tell my young relatives that if I can hear the music they are listening to with their earbuds on it's too loud! Especially if i can make out the lyrics!!

    August 18, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  14. Carlos

    More steps should be taken to educate teens of the adversre side effects of loud sounds – tinnitus. A common condition that would have kids wishing they were deaf!

    August 18, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  15. Phyllis Cox

    While you cannot change the behavior, you can change the product. Manufacturers simply should not make MP3 players that are capable of reaching the decibel levels that are harmful.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  16. Matthew

    Sound isolating headphones could be an answer to combat this hearing loss.Most kids turn up the music to tune out the world around them. Sound isolating headphones make this possible at much lower volumes that most headphones. They are generally more expensive than normal headphones, but hearing aids will be even more expensive later on.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  17. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Put an age restriction on the watts output of stereo systems .

    August 18, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  18. Zane Reitmayer

    What about the teens like me? I'm deaf in my left ear and have some hearing loss in my right ear, so if you we're to take away the ability to play loud music, I would lose music, so if you try to regulate music levels, congratulations, you just took away music from a 14-year-old boy, and pretty much the entire hearing impaired community.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  19. Danny Khounthavong

    tell them that they will get tinnitus (a ringing in you ears or head) and it will never go away. I have tinnitus and a teen and i regret listening to music loudly because every time I go to bed I hear a constant ringing in my ear that never goes away, even if i cover my ears.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  20. Gene Lucas

    Why were earbuds only talked about? I think a far bigger danger is car stereo systems which have amplitude levels far higher that earbuds do – and kids run them full up in their cars.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  21. nury morejòn fierro

    I think so when the damage is done and the loss hear should be to do is: :implement to the affected a hearing aid with the most high technology..

    August 19, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  22. Rosa Gomez

    The manufacture should have a warning
    information, about the consequences, like
    the cigarets, it works,I quit smoke when
    I sow the warning.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  23. Gary Cooper

    huh what ? turn it down now they have an excuse why they are not listening

    August 25, 2010 at 10:30 am |