Any parent could tell you that teenagers aren’t usually the world’s best listeners. But according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, for as many as 1 out of 5 American teenagers, poor listening skills may have as much to do with hearing loss as it does with attitude. New research shows 6.5 million teenagers demonstrate signs of hearing damage; a 30 percent increase from the number of hearing loss cases reported by teenagers in the early 1990s. The increased use of personal mp3 players like ipods, and louder, more advanced in-ear head phones is a suspected culprit, but more research is still needed.
Lindsey Claus, a 16-year-old musician from Mansfield who plays both the French horn and piano, says she first noticed her hearing loss about three years ago. She researched doctors online and then made an appointment with Children’s Hospital Boston’s Brian Fligor, ScD, director of Diagnostic Audiology, to protect her slightly damaged hearing and ensure her future as a musician. CBS Evening News recently ran an interview with Fligor and Claus, and reported on teenage hearing loss and its treatment at Children’s.