Modern life can be deafening. Yet even though many people know that they should use earplugs or earmuffs when mowing the lawn or partying at the club, they do not do so, according to a sweeping analysis by Harrison Lin, an ear surgeon at the University of California, Irvine, Medical Center and his colleagues. They also found that a large percentage of Americans who work at very loud jobs do not protect their ears. Given safety guidelines, that is concerning. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that one in five people in their 20s now has some hearing loss, probably because he or she is cranking up the volume while wearing earbuds for music or video games. “Our ears have not evolved to handle such trauma,” Lin says.
This article was originally published with the title "Sounds Like Trouble" in Scientific American 316, 6, 78 (June 2017)