A Moment of Science

Teen Tinnitus

Perhaps due to the ubiquity of headphones, hearing problems aren't just for the elderly anymore.

A pair of black headphones against a white background

Photo: eldeem (flickr)

When you listen to headphones, it's best to keep your music device's volume below the halfway point.

When you listen to your Zeppelin records, do you have the sound cranked up to eleven? Though it may be fun to blast the tunes, you could be putting your hearing at risk — even if you’re young!

One In Five

According to researchers at Antwerp University in Belgium, who looked at survey data from nearly 4000 high schoolers, one in five teenagers experiences constant ringing in their ears — a.k.a. “tinnitus.”

While the data doesn’t explain exactly why, it probably has to do with kids listening to MP3 players at high volume all the time.

Turn It Down!

Tinnitus isn’t just annoying, either. It can disturb sleep, confound communication, hamper concentration and make it difficult to relax. The ensuing stress can make it hard to function in school and at work.

Is there a way to cure tinnitus? Not when it’s chronic. Fortunately, however, you can prevent it by turning down the Zeppelin.

Read More:

  • Many teens have permanent ringing in the ears (Reuters)
  • Epidemiology of Noise-Induced Tinnitus and the Attitudes and Beliefs towards Noise and Hearing Protection in Adolescents (PLOS One)
  • Decibel Exposure Guidelines (Dangerous Decibels)

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