Washington, May 23: Seventy-two percent of teens experienced reduced hearing after being exposed to blasting rock shows by a popular female singer.
M. Jennifer Derebery, physician from the House Research Institute, and colleagues tested teens’ hearing before and after the concert.
They found that hearing loss of this kind was temporary, likely to go within 48 hours.
“Teenagers need to understand a single exposure to loud noise either from a concert or personal listening device can lead to hearing loss,” said Derebery, who led the study.
In some cases, the hearing loss may be permanent.
A group of teenagers were given free tickets to a rock concert after parental consent. They were seated in two blocks close to each other and in front of the stage, the journal Otology and Neurotology reports.
Researchers offered volunteers foam ear plugs and encouraged them to use them. But only three teenagers chose to do so. Three researchers sat with them.
The decibel levels experienced at the concert exceeded what is allowable in the workplace.
Following the concert, 53.6 percent of the teens said they did not think they were hearing as well.
Twenty-five percent reported they were experiencing tinnitus or ringing in their ears, which they did not have before the concert.
“We definitely need to be doing more to ensure the sound levels at concerts are not so loud as to cause hearing loss and neurological damage in teenagers as well as adults,” said Derebery.