[muffled sound of voice saying “Many people take their hearing for granted.”]
Sorry. [throat clearing] Many people take their hearing for granted. But a new report shows that as many as one in five Americans suffers from hearing loss severe enough to affect their daily life. The findings are in the Archives of Internal Medicine. [Frank Lin, John K. Niparko and Luigi Ferrucci, "Hearing Loss Prevalence in the United States"]
Aging is the most common risk factor. But the 48 million people in the U.S. who have some hearing loss in at least one ear included kids as young as 12. So why are so many people affected?
Loud music and earbuds might not be to blame just yet, according to the study. In fact, the new numbers suggest that the risk for hearing loss might actually be going down over time, as people get smarter about protecting their hearing and move away from louder industrial jobs.
The most common sources of noise-induced hearing loss include explosions, power tools, music and common machinery. The best way to fend off future hearing loss is to protect your ears with earplugs or noise-reducing earmuffs. So, can you hear me now?
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]