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EARPHONES AND HEARING LOSS: A BUDDING PROBLEM
Physicians Warn of Serious Long-Term Ramifications

Are earbuds used with the hi-def audio of today's digital devices causing an epidemic of hearing loss among the young? So warns a new NBC News report, which says constant in-ear listening at high volume is causing 30% more hearing loss among kids than in the '80s and '90s. 

Unless the Walkmans and transistor radios of yore, today's listening devices can produce loud signal at very high fidelity; the long-term impact on hearing could be very serious, according several physicians cited in the story. What's more, the hearing loss produced by chronic earbud listening at high volume may not be detected until years later.

The blasting volume at EDM festivals is also singled out as a contributor.

A World Health Organization study recently predicted that as many as 1.1 billion young people could experience hearing loss as a result of these sound sources.

One physician cited in the story recommends the use of over-the-ear headphones instead of earbuds.

But is the current listening environment really any worse than the old days, when kids first flocked to rock concerts and stood in front of giant walls of amplifiers? One prominent '70s rocker delclined to comment. Or maybe he just didn't hear the question.

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