“Turn it down! You’ll go deaf!”


Sound familiar? Mom always said listening to loud music would affect your hearing. Well, a new study has given her some ammunition.


Loss of hearing is affecting five per cent more adolescents than it was 15 years ago, according to hearing experts who analysed U.S. survey data.


If people around you on the subway can hear your music right through your ear phones, your tunes are too loud, they say.

It’s a good idea to pre-set the volume on electronic music devices to between half and two-thirds of maximum, suggests Dr. Ron Eavey, an otolaryngologist from Nashville, Tenn. Most devices play at up to 120 decibels, while anything above 85 is considered bad for hearing.

Eavey and colleagues studied results from a large, population-based study called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), involving thousands of adolescents ages 12 to 19.

They found that hearing loss is now affecting nearly 20 per cent of teens, and they are worried it is the beginning of an epidemic.

Hearing loss

It’s hard to tell if you are losing your hearing because it happens gradually. Here are the signs of hearing loss resulting from ongoing loud noise

  • When an ongoing noise stops, sound may seem muffled

  • People seem to mumble

  • Your ears ring

  • People tell you the TV is too loud

  • You keep turning up the stereo so you can hear it

  • You feel pressure or fullness in your ears.