A new study of 3,200 American teenagers has discovered that 19.5% have lost at least 15 decibels of hearing ability, up from 14.9% of teens tested in 1990.

Researchers singled out the rising popularity of personal stereos such as iphones as the single factor most likely to have caused the dramatic increase and said that while the hearing loss discovered is relatively small, it is nevertheless highly significant.

"What people need to be cognizant of is that once you lose your hearing you can't get it back. It's not coming back," said study chief Josef Shargorodsky, an otolaryngologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

“And so that's why we have to think about preventing this from happening,” he added.

The study's shock findings were published just as Scottish electro-house star Mylo chatted about his own problems with deafness as a teenager when he was studying at ultra-elite Oxford University College Brasenose aged 18.

"I suffered mild hearing loss from a viral infection just before arriving at Oxford, so, on my doctor’s advice, I stayed away from music,” Mylo recalled.

“I didn’t get into production or DJing until later. I didn’t really have goals,” he added. “I assumed I would end up a mildly depressed academic.”

Berlin based American producer Jmmy Edgar, 29, also chatted about having impaired hearing in an interview with Fact Magazine this week though put an unusually positive spin on the often crippling condition.

“My hearing is so bad that when I was younger I developed this thing where I see colors as sound, which is called synesthesia,” he explained.

“I wasn’t born with it but I always thought everyone had this, seeing colors as numbers. And when people talk, I always see colors and shapes. So I have that with my music, with everyone’s music. I think my brain just developed this when I lost some of my hearing,” he suggested.

Jonty Skrufff

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