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'It's going to get worse': Nearly 30 percent of teens have hearing damage

June 07, 2016

Teens, with their earbuds jammed deeply into their ears, aren't listening to the message about loud music and hearing loss.

A new study finds that nearly 30 percent of teenagers had a condition called tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing in the ears.

"It's a growing problem and I think it's going to get worse," study coauthor, Larry Roberts, a senior researcher in the department of psychology, neuroscience and behavior at McMaster University, said in a statement. "My personal view is that there is a major public health challenge coming down the road in terms of difficulties with hearing.

The World Health Organization has warned that 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss because of portable digital music players and damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues, such as electronic dance music festivals, where sound levels can top 120 decibels for hours.

But it's smartphones that are mainly to blame for the looming hearing crisis, said a hearing specialist.

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