One in five French teenagers hearing impaired

Loud music from MP3 players, in discos and at rock concerts is damaging the hearing of French teenagers. As many as one in five among French teenagers suffer from hearing problems.

"We believe that between 10 and 20 percent of adolescents have damaged hearing. And that's not counting those who suffer from tinnitus and hyperacusis (over-sensitivity to certain sounds)," stated Christian Huggonet, professor and acoustical engineer, to the French Le Figaro newspaper.

Hearing aid dealers and company doctors have seen a steady increase in the numbers of young people in need of hearing aids.

"Company doctors have noticed an increase in poor hearing among young people applying for jobs in which a good ear is required. And suppliers of hearing aids all agree their clients are getting younger," said Christian Huggonet.

France is among many countries with increasing numbers of adolescents with hearing impairment. In Italy there is talk of a new “generation hearing loss”.

Unless something is done about the ever increasing use of MP3s, iPods and other personal stereos, the prevalence of people with hearing loss will continue to increase. In Italy, experts expect that more than 30 percent of the population could become hearing impaired, as compared to the current prevalence of 12 percent.

Sources: Le Figaro and Today Online