Nov 152011

If you think hearing loss is just an inevitable part of aging, think again.

More than 48 million Americans over age 12 have trouble hearing in one or both ears, according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. And the way we listen to music is partly to blame.

“Aging and genetics do sometimes play a role, but what we know now is that environmental exposures – like listening to music too loudly – can contribute to long term hearing damage over time,” says Dr. Frank R. Lin, lead study author and assistant professor of otolaryngology-head  and neck surgery and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “It’s a growing concern.”

Here’s how hearing loss happens with headphones: You have your headphones on and are jamming to your favorite tune on maximum volume. The sound waves enter the ear, travel thru the ear canal all the way to the hair cells located in your inner ear. Hair cells help convert sound energy into electrical signals sent to the brain. This,  in return, allows you to hear the music clearly. But when the volume is too loud, those hair cells get damaged and never grow back.

“The tricky thing about loud noise exposure is that most people won’t see the impact for many years later,” says Lin.  “So consumers aren’t aware they are damaging their hearing until it’s too late.”

Read the rest of the article at

– Thanks to CCAC Captioning, 11/15/11.