For kids who like their music loud in their headphones, a reassuring analysis found that hearing impairment rates among teens have actually dropped since a spike in hearing loss was reported a decade ago.
The new study, in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, checked out data from thousands of teens ages 12 to 19 over the course of two decades. The rate of moderate hearing loss had increased to 22.5% in 2007-2008, but dropped to 15.2% in the most recent study period, which was 2009-2010. The improvement is “great news,” says study author Dr. Dylan Chan, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
Still, he's hoping people don't stop caring for their hearing. “I hope people don’t take this as an excuse to say noise-induced hearing loss is not a problem, so we can go back to listening to headphones at full volume,” says Chan. The report stresses the need to turn the volume down when listening to music with ear buds or headphones. Did you hear that, kids?