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New Study Suggests Modern Technology is Making Us Deaf

Listening to music
Flickr user: eyesogreen
You would think that with the Baby Boomer generation being the most studied demographic cohort ever, and with the Boomers being the first to embrace amplified music, there would be tons of research into whether consuming loud music leads to hearing loss. Apparently not. In a story from the BBC, it is noted by a hearing researcher that “…far less is known about the cumulative effects of loud-music listening on the hearing of the general public.” Because of this, and because 1 in 6 Brits has experienced some hearing loss (it’s 1 in 5 here in the U.S.), the British Medical Council is conducting a survey to try and get a handle on the role environmental factors, like listening to music, contribute to hearing loss.

Surprisingly, my hearing is still pretty good, despite listening to loud music as a youth, and wearing headphones virtually every day for the past 25 years. I’ve been expecting the hearing loss for years. Another point the experts make is that hearing loss is almost always irreversible, so if you’re starting to notice a gradual loss of hearing, it’s probably too late. But if Boomers were the first with amplified music, the Millenials are the first to embrace ear buds; I imagine we’ll have to wait a few years to find out the extent of the damage done to their hearing.

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