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Is Your iPod Making You Deaf?

Dec 19, 2013 Is Your iPod Making You Deaf?

We have all grown very attached to our iPods over the past 10 years, but did you ever consider how it’s affecting your hearing? Or your teen's hearing? You should. Read more.

Right now, there are over 170 million iPod users. And we know that blasting loud music directly into our ears from headphones and earbuds for long periods of time can permanently damage our hearing. But so many of us – especially teenagers – still keep the volume cranked up way too loud. In fact, try telling a teenager to turn the music down. What do they do? Turn it up even more. Even teens who said that they are worried about damaging their hearing listen to music too loud!

Teens Are Putting Themselves At Risk For Hearing Loss

A study done by Colorado University and Children’s Hospital in Boston found that not only do teens play music louder than adults, but they don’t even know they’re doing it. They are putting themselves at risk for hearing loss, and they don’t know it.

Why Do They Do It?

If teens are worried about their hearing, why are they listening to music with the volume turned way up? They might think that the manufacturer wouldn’t make something that would damage their hearing – so it must be safe to listen to the music on 11, if that’s how high the volume goes. But we know that’s not the case, and that turning the volume way up on your iPod can do real damage to your hearing.

More Music, All The Time

It’s more than just trusting the manufacturer to keep you safe. People are listening to music more, and for longer periods of time, than ever before. Small, portable mp3 music players can go with you to the gym, on the bus, on a plane or just walking down the street. And with today’s long-lasting batteries, the music never stops.

Though the volume on an iPod can top out a 100 dB, you don’t have to listen to it that loud. There are things you can do to enjoy your music and keep your hearing safe:

  • Use noise-cancelling headphones. A lot of people turn the volume up on their mp3 players to hear the music over ambient noise around them. Using noise-cancelling headphones means your music doesn’t have to compete with sounds around you, and you can still enjoy it at a lower volume.
  • Turn the volume down. You may turn the volume up on your headphones when a quiet song comes on, or when there’s noise around you. Then turn it down again when a louder song comes on, or the distracting noise is gone. Be mindful to turn the volume down a few notches once in a while, and see if the song still sounds as good. Chances are it will, and your hearing will thank you.
  • Get your hearing tested regularly. Just the way you get your eyes checked regularly to see if your eyesight has changed, it is important to get your hearing tested regularly to see if your hearing has changed.

Call an experienced audiologist today to get your hearing – or your teen’s hearing! – tested to help ensure a lifetime of listening pleasure. 

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