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Noise-Related Hearing Loss: Not Just a Work Problem, CDC Finds

Feb 01, 2017

© CDC Vital Signs, February 2017 

One in four U.S. adults who think their hearing is good in fact has hearing damage. The latest Vital Signs report, “Too Loud! For Too Long!” from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that a lot of this damage is from loud sounds encountered during everyday activities, such as using a leaf blower or going to loud concerts. These activities can damage a person’s hearing just as much as working in an extremely noisy environment.

CDC researchers analyzed data from more than 3,500 adult hearing tests, and found that 20% of people who reported no job-related noise exposure had hearing damage caused by noise. This damage appeared as early as age 20.

CDC says that recent studies show an increase in the number of young people exposed to loud sounds through portable devices and at entertainment venues. The agency says that more research is needed on noise exposure in early life and its relationship to hearing loss over

“40 million Americans show some hearing damage from loud noise, with nearly 21 million reporting no exposure to loud noise at work,” says CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat. “We hope this report will help raise awareness of this problem and help clinicians reduce their patients’ risk for early hearing loss.”

Download the report here.


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