ASHA To Consumers: Save Your Hearing By Lowering Personal Stereo System Volume
American Speech-Language Hearing Association Offers Consumer Tips As Final Holiday Sales Figures Document Popularity Of Personal Stereo Systems
(Rockville, MD - January 12, 2006) With Apple Computer Inc. reporting that 14 million iPods were sold in the last quarter of 2005-a number that exceeds expectations-and total sales topping 42 million since the product's inception-the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is offering tips to consumers to help them avoid hearing damage from improperly using personal stereo systems like iPods.
The tips include:
- keep the volume down
- avoid prolonged, continuous listening to the systems by taking frequent breaks
- wear headphones that isolate the wanted music from background noise; headphones that fit over the ears are better than the ear buds (headphones that come with the players) that fit in one's ears because they block background noise
Nearly 10 million Americans have hearing loss as a result of excess noise exposure, according to ASHA, numbers which could increase with the popularity of personal stereo systems.
"We certainly want the public to enjoy their music, but playing their personal stereo systems at too high a level will cause hearing loss," ASHA President Alex Johnson says. "We know first-hand that there are people who are listening at 110 to 120 decibels-a level equal, in terms of potential damage, to plugging the sound of a chain saw into one's ears. Yet, it isn't uncommon for operators of chain saws to wear protective headphones to save their hearing. This isn't case with users of personal stereo systems."
Meantime, Pam Mason, ASHA's Director of Audiology, notes that while hearing loss is irreversible, it is also avoidable.
"Noise-induced hearing loss is cumulative and permanent," Mason says. "However, in this case it is preventable by keeping the volume lowered."
See Also: Holiday Health Warning: Unsafe Usage of Portable Music Players May Damage Your Hearing
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 120,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders. For more information about noise and hearing loss and ways you can protect your hearing, go to www.asha.org or 1-800-638-Talk.