London, August 18 (ANI): An American research has suggested that iPods, MP3 players and increased exposure to live music have led to a surge in hearing loss in teens.
The number of teenagers experiencing hearing problems has gone up by nearly a third in the last 20 years, it is claimed.
Between 2005 and 2006, one in five adolescents suffered some form of hearing loss, the study found.
The root causes for the increase are not known, although the scientists believe exposure to loud noise, such as amplified music, may be one explanation.
Josef Shargorodsky, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, examined the two databases to see if there was a comparable degree of hearing loss in the different timeframes.
Between 1988 and 1994, there was a 14.9 percent prevalent - but this rose to 19.5 per cent in the 2005/06 study of 12 to 19 year olds.
The majority of the hearing loss was slight, although the number of cases of mild or worse hearing loss was 77 per cent higher in the later survey.
Girls were found to be significantly less likely to be affected.
And those below the poverty line were also found to be at a higher risk.
"Hearing loss is a common sensory disorder, affecting tens of millions of individuals of all ages in the United States," the Telegraph quoted the authors as saying.
"Some risk factors, such as loud sound exposure from listening to music, may be of particular importance to adolescents.
"The prevalence of hearing loss among a sample of U.S. adolescents aged 12 to 19 years was greater in 2005-2006 compared with 1988-1994," the authors added. he article has been published in journal JAMA. (ANI)