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I read a disturbing article by Carla K. Johnson who writes for the Associated Press the other day. This article cites statistics that show that 1 in 5 teenagers now have hearing loss to the point where they can’t hear a whisper or leaves rustle. That’s right, 1 in 5 teenagers can’t hear their mother whisper goodnight to them in their ears at night as they can’t hear in the 16 to 24 decibel range.
The hearing loss increase is attributed to increased listening of music with earbuds, concerts and volumes being set so loud that scarring occurs in the microfiber tissue of the eardrum. By contrast, hearing loss has been increasing overall since Walkman days, and used to be about 15% in the 1988-1994 range.
Some music devices have audio level controls which allow parents to lock the setting so a device can’t go louder than a certain volume and this certainly may be a good tool to help younger kids avoid damaging their hearing from personal audio devices, but surely only educating and trying to convince your kids that they don’t need to listen to music at 100+ decibels to enjoy it.
Of course, if you are the type of person that is blasting your car audio to where you can’t hear each other speak, or playing music so loud in the kitchen you can’t hear the blender, then this will fall on deaf ears.