Study: Inner-Ear Headphones Have Caused Hearing Damage in 30 Percent of Teens
Teens who spend a lot time with their earbuds in have new reason to be concerned.
According to a new study, approximately 30% of teenagers have developed the condition known as Tinnitus, which involves a constant ringing and buzzing in the ears. It’s the researchers’ belief that exposure to digital music players and inner-ear headphones have played a significant part in the increase of Tinnitus cases.
Larry Roberts, a co-author of the of the study, expounded on their beliefs saying, “It’s a growing problem and I think it’s going to get worse.”
He further discussed his own beliefs saying, “My personal view is that there is a major public health challenge coming down the road in terms of difficulties with hearing.”
The idea that personal digital music players are contributing to hearing problems amongst young people has been brewing for several years.
In a previous interview with NBC News unrelated to the current survey, ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, discussed how the evolution of media players has led to these problems.
“You [once] had a Walkman with two AA batteries and headphone thongs that went over your ears,” said Cherukuri. “At high volume, the sound was so distorted and the battery life was poor. Nowadays we have smartphones that are extremely complex computers with high-level fidelity.”
The experts recommend that the best way for teens and others to protect their ears and hearing is to apply a so-called “60/60 rule” where the volume on the MP3 player is kept at or under 60% of its maximum output and only listened to for a maximum of 60 minutes a day.