Young people are at risk of losing their hearing 30 years earlier than their parents, a charity has warned.
Over a third listen to MP3 players everyday despite having experienced tinnitus, a ringing in the ears which is a classic sign of hearing damage.
But perhaps most shocking was the revelation that 38 per cent of 16-34 year-olds were not aware that listening to loud music on a personal music player can damage their hearing.
Vivienne Michael, chief executive at Deafness Research UK, said: "Many young people are regularly using MP3 players for long periods of time and are frighteningly unaware of the fact that loud noise can permanently damage your hearing.
"More than three quarters of people own a personal music player and sophisticated sound systems in their car and homes, which allow them to blast out music day and night.
"We also spend more time today in bars and clubs where the noise is so loud we can barely hear the person opposite us, and few people, particularly the 16-34 age group, are aware of the damaging effect all this can have on their hearing."
The survey also found that less than half the population had had a hearing test, and many had not had one since school.
"Hearing loss can make life unbearable. It cuts people off from their family and friends and makes everyday communication extremely difficult," said Michael.
"We want people to realise that their hearing is as important as their sight and to protect their ears against any potential damage."
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