Hearing at risk in Mexico and Puerto Rico

Mexican and Puerto Rican adults make extended use of MP3 players and electronic devices alike. They are concerned about their hearing, yet they listen to music on these devices for long periods of time at high volume.

An on-line survey among Mexican and Puerto Rican adults showed increasing numbers of adults listening to MP3s, iPods and other electronic devices.

  • 70 percent in Mexico and 50 percent in Puerto Rico reported listening to MP3 players.
  • 72 percent of Mexican adults and 69 percent of Puerto Rican adults listen to these devices for 1-4 hours or more.
  • 60 percent of Puerto Ricans reported listening to their personal stereos at high or very high volumes compared to 36 percent of Mexicans adults.

The survey also showed their concern about hearing loss due to inappropriate listening habits.

  • 50 percent of both Mexicans and Puerto Ricans reported seeing information about the risk of hearing loss.
  • Two thirds of the Mexican respondents said they were more aware when listening to their personal stereos, whereas only 45 percent of Puerto Ricans said they would give the risks a thought.
  • 92 percent of the Mexicans and 83 percent of the Puerto Ricans were concerned about the risk of hearing loss for their children.

“Educating adults and children about the safe usage of these devices is the most important and effective way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Healthy hearing habits are more easily established at an early age in the home and in school.” said Alina Paz, an ASHA member and a certified audiologist and speech-language pathologist with Miami Dade County Public Schools.

The survey was part of ASHA's public education campaign, known as “America: Tuned in Today…But Tuned out Tomorrow?”

The survey was commissioned by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, ASHA, in October 2006.


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