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One in five people in their 20s are losing their hearing and that is terrifying

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Sam Diss
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Yeah, turns out that everything you like is bad for you.

As if you didn’t have enough things to worry about, according to a results of a study released yesterday, an alarming amount of people in their twenties are losing their hearing. The catchily-titled “Vital Signs: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Among Adults — United States 2011–2012” found that thanks to “factors”, especially things like listening to loud, objectively good music on your headphones, people are damaging their hearing and they don’t even realise it. 

As per the Washington Post:

A quarter of people ages 20 to 69 were suffering some hearing deficits, the CDC reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, even though the vast majority of the people in the study claimed to have good or excellent hearing.

The researchers found that 24 percent of adults had “audiometric notches” — a deterioration in the softest sound a person can hear — in one or both ears … The review’s more surprising finding — which the CDC had not previously studied — was that 53 percent of those people said they had no regular exposure to loud noise at work. That means the hearing loss was caused by other environmental factors, including listening to music through headphones with the volume turned up too high.

So, okay, yeah, they’re Americans but the findings likely still tally:

“One minute of hearing a 120-decibel siren can damage hearing,” the CDC told the WP. As can “two hours of exposure to a 90-decibel leaf blower, fourteen minutes at a 100-decibel sporting event or two minutes at a 110-decibel rock concert”. 

Next time you hear a good song, and you yell “CRANK THAT FUCKER UP A BIT, STAN!” maybe think twice: the lasting damage to your ear-health isn’t worth hearing the C&J Street Mix of Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison a little bit louder.

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Sam Diss

The Associate Editor of New Projects at ShortList, Sam enjoys making up words to annoy editors, writing features about sports, music, weird things, and cool people, and listening to Mark Morrison's 'Return Of The Mack'. He's also a fairly capable centreback. Follow Sam on Twitter: @SamDiss

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