Teenage Hearing Loss up 30%

Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.Family & Relationships, Hearing Health, Hearing Loss, News

Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.
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According to a recent article in the Journal of American Medicine, 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.”
Hearing loss is a serious problem that can lead to developmental delays for school-aged children. Even though the condition is common, getting to the root of the problem remains a challenge.
The authors of the JAMA article conclude that more studies are needed to determine the exact cause of the increase. “We see smoke,” Eavey explains. “We’re not sure where the fire is yet, but we know it’s not good for the woods to be burning.”?