Exposure to loud music has increased the number of adolescents who suffer from defects and increased risk of deafness in adulthood listening, finds new research.
The results revealed that young people engage in “risky listening habits” at parties, clubs and personal listening devices.
In addition, more than one quarter of them are already experiencing persistent tinnitus – a ringing or buzzing in the ears that most typically affects people over 50 years.
“It’s a growing problem and I think it will get worse,” said Larry Roberts at McMaster University in Canada.
Teens who experienced tinnitus were more likely to have a significantly reduced tolerance to loud noise is a sign of hidden damage to the nerves that are used in the treatment of sound.
When the auditory nerves are damaged, brain cells increase their sensitivity to the remaining entries, which can make the sounds seem stronger currents.
The perception of increased loudness is an indication of nerve injury that can not be detected by the audiogram – the standard clinical test for hearing.
This “loss of hidden hearing” caused by exposure to loud sounds in the early years deepens throughout life, worsening the ability of one hearing later in life, the researchers said in an article published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“It is common that after listening to loud music experience a ringing in your ears for the next day or so,” said Roberts, warning that this brief tinnitus is an early sign of vulnerability to the harmful effects of exposure to sound.
While some other forms of hearing loss can be repaired, such nerve damage can not be undone. The only safe solution, he says, is “prevention”.
For the study, researchers conducted detailed hearing tests in a group of 170 students between 11 and 17 years old.
At least 28 percent of the participants had developed persistent tinnitus.