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One Out Of Four American Adults Have Suffered Hearing Loss

Above: A boy using headphones on Feb. 17, 2010.

Aired 2/9/17 on KPBS News.

A new report from the CDC reveals the elderly aren't the only ones affected by hearing loss.

Hearing loss affects 40 million Americans.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals it is not only the elderly who are affected.

In fact, the report finds 19 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 29 have lost some of their hearing.

Dr. Ted Mazer, an ear, nose and throat specialist in San Diego, says it is an issue that usually is not on the radar for people under 65.

“People in their 20s, 30s, 40s, they don’t think about hearing loss," Mazer said. "They just go about their daily existence, and once the cumulative effects of exposures to noise-creating hearing loss become apparent, it’s too late.”

The CDC study says more than half of those affected by hearing loss say they were not repeatedly exposed to loud noises at work.

Mazer says one of the likely culprits is frequent listening to loud music through earbuds or headphones. However, he says only one exposure to excessively loud noise can cause permanent hearing damage.

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