A report published by the Norwegian Armed Forces suggests that the number of soldiers who have problems with their hearing when joining the military has risen from 1% in 2008 to 7% in 2012.
Causes remain uncertain
The reason for this sudden growth in the number of cases is still unclear to the doctors who conducted the research between 2008 and 2012.
“During the research period, we can see that the blood pressure and BMI of the people joining the military went down, which indicates that they are in better shape than they were earlier. Hence, we have noticed the remarkable changes in the hearing abilities of the soldiers,” explained Einar Kristian Borud, consultant for the military's sanitation (FSAN).
Music devices could be part of explanation
The use of MP3 players and mobile phones could be among the reasons for the increased number of cases of reduced hearing, according to Anders Hegre, General Director of the National Association for people hard of hearing (HLF).
â€Today we can observe how many people walk around with music playing in their ears all the time, coming from either mobile phones or other MP3 devices. This can be damaging to the hearing if not handled carefully,â€ said Hegre.
600,000 Norwegians suffer from a reduced hearing. 25,000 of them are between the ages of 20 and 34.