Researchers from the University of São Paulo Medical School, in Brazil, have found high levels of tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing in the ear, and hearing loss in adolescents that use ear bud speakers. They examined the hearing of 170 students between the ages of 11 and 17 and asked them about their experiences with tinnitus in the previous year. More than half of the respondents had experienced the condition.
The principal investigator for the study, Tanit Ganz Sanchez, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the medical school, notes that the prevalence of tinnitus among adolescents should be viewed as an early warning of a serious hearing loss risk. She says, “If this teenage generation continues to expose themselves to very high noise levels, they’ll probably suffer from hearing loss by the time they’re 30 or 40.”