Are the iPod Generation Ruining Their Hearing For Good?

Pardon? What you say? Apparently the ear-bud touting masses are ruining their hearing, one Justin Bieber song at a time. Because one in five Americans over the age of 12 have hearing loss in at least one ear.

A new study shows that more than 48 million people in the United States can't hear properly, a leap up from previous estimates that suggested the figure was closer to 21million.

Even though age obviously plays a role in hearing loss, for those of us who have never known a life without personal music devices the real problem is environmental factors. In other words, if you didn't know already, jacking your music up too loud on your iPod or going to too many loud gigs ruins your ears.

Speaking to CNN, Dr. Frank R. Lin, an assistant professor of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said:

"The tricky thing about loud noise exposure is that most people won't see the impact for many years later. So consumers aren't aware they are damaging their hearing until it's too late."

Here's a tip for you. Any ringing or hollow sound in your ears is a bad sign. The ringing that you get for more than a day after a gig: that's real trouble. I think I might buy some ear plugs. [Huffington Post; Image: Subharnab]