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One in Four College Students Suffer from Hearing Loss

A new study revealed that nearly a fourth of all college students are suffering from hearing damage. Blame that on MP3 players.


The findings uncovered that due to the excessive use of personal music players, one-quarter of the students who underwent tests to assess their audio skills did not have normal hearing. Rather, the test subjects had hearing loss of about 15 decibels in a couple of test frequencies. They added that about 7 percent of the students are suffering from hearing loss of about 25 decibels, which is clinically considered as mild hearing loss.


The researchers reiterated that though the hearing impairment is not so serious as to require extreme measures such as hearing aids, the hearing loss could affect the student’s ability to understand and learn the lessons taught.


The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Florida and headed by Prof. Colleen Le Prell of the University’s Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Department.


“You would expect normal hearing in that population,” Le Prell expressed disbelief by the findings. “The criteria for normal hearing we used for the study were, we thought, extremely liberal criteria.”


Hearing loss in students occurred within the frequency range needed for speech. The students were also tested in higher frequency ranges.


“With high-frequency hearing loss, a person can miss a lot of subtle speech sounds, making it harder to discriminate different vowels or phonemes,” Le Prell explained. “It would also be much harder to hear sounds like bird songs or children's voices.”


The researchers added that most incidents of hearing damage were in male students who use their MP3s.





I´m 61 years old and lost my hearing gradually over many years. Because my hearing loss developed so slowly, I never realized it was happening. But my friends and family sure did. Because of them, I decided to get my hearing tested. Dr. Andrews keeps working with you until you are satisfied. That´s what I like. I haven´t heard this well in years. ~ R. McGreggor