Rockville, MD (March 17, 2006)–More than half of high school students surveyed report at least one symptom of hearing loss according to a poll commissioned by the American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA) and conducted by Zogby International.
The poll looked at not only the usage habits of high school students and adults with respect to some popular technology that provides audio through earbuds or earphones-devices like Apple’s iPod, other MP3 players, and portable DVD players–but it also probed the public’s views about potential hearing loss from such devices, plus what they believe would be the most effective way to convey a hearing-loss prevention message.
The polling found that high school students are more likely than adults to say they have experienced three of the four symptoms of hearing loss: turning up the volume on their TV or radio (28 percent students vs. 26 percent adults); saying “what” or “huh” during normal conversation (29 percent students, 21 percent adults); and, having tinnitus or ringing in the ears (17 percent students, 12 percent adults).
More disturbing is that less than half of high students (49 percent) say they have experienced none of the symptoms, compared to 63 percent of adults who say this.
It is not clear from the poll what is causing the symptoms, though it found usage habits among both students and adults that are potentially detrimental to hearing health.
For example, two-fifths of students and adults set the volume at loud on their Apple iPods, with students are twice as likely as adults to play it very loud (13 percent vs. 6 percent). Meanwhile, adults are more likely than students to use their MP3 players for longer periods of time. Combined, more than half of adults use them 1-4 hours (43 percent) or longer (9 percent) compared to fewer than one-third of students-a disparity that may reflect the time adults spend commuting to and from work.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association