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American adults are hearing better than their grandparents

An article in December 2010 Ear and Hearing reported that American adults are hearing better than their grandparents did at the same age. Researchers compared hearing data from two national surveys dated from 1959-1962 and 1999-2004. They found that both men and women today have better hearing in the higher frequencies than persons decades earlier. Things like fewer smokers, better healthcare for diabetes and cardiovascular disease and better treatment for otitis media in children may be possible reasons for the improvement. Also, vaccines for rubella and meningitis have decreased the incidence of hearing loss. There has also been a decrease in noisy manufacturing jobs and an increase in workplace hearing conservation programs.

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