1 in 5 Teens Has Hearing Loss Are earbuds to blame? By Emily Rauhala, Newser User Posted Aug 18, 2010 8:33 AM CDT 9 comments Comments One in five American adolescents now suffers some sort of hearing impairment, researchers say. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Oh no, mom was right: It looks like those always-blaring headphones actually are hurting our ears. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that one in five American teens now suffer some form of hearing loss, a 31% rise since researchers studied the phenomenon in the mid-1990s, notes NPR. Though the exact causes are unclear, a leading audiologist says earbuds and volume are probably to blame. When it comes to earphones, how loud is too loud? "If you can hear the music coming from a teenager's earbuds, it's too loud," says the audiologist. Her advice: turn down the volume. And if you or somebody you know can't bear to listen to Justin Bieber at anything less than full blast, limit your exposure to 15 minutes at a time. Your ears will thank you.