Unsafe Usage of Portable Music Players May Damage Your Hearing
Audiologists Say Portable Music Player Users Listen to Devices Too Long at High Volumes; Hearing Loss Can Occur Slowly Over Time and Not Noticed Until Too Late
Players are a Popular Holiday Gift - Sales of Some are up More Than 400%
A warning from The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) this holiday season as MP3 players and iPods are expected to be big sellers - Apple reports that it sold 22.5 million iPods in fiscal year 2005, an increase of 409% from the previous year - yet, portable music players may be damaging your hearing if they are not used properly. Experts say users of portable music players listen to the devices too long at high volumes, causing noise-induced hearing loss that occurs gradually over time, and is not often noticed until too late. Nearly 10 Million Americans experience hearing loss as a result of noise exposure. Audiologists attribute the primary cause of noise-induced hearing damage to the lack of public awareness.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss:
- Consider upgrading your earbuds, which sit inside the ear, to sound isolating earphones that go around the ear
- Limit the time listening to player
- Keep volume down
Listening to loud music could cause hearing loss or tinnitus (a perception of sound in ears when no external source is present) or non-auditory problems including biological (increased blood pressure; ulcers), sleep disturbance, distraction or annoyance, and learning problems.
Loud noise above 85 decibels (dB) can cause permanent hearing loss. Portable music players are capable of producing sound levels ranging anywhere from 60 to 120 decibels (dB). With the volume approximately one-quarter of the way up, you hear about 85dB and with the volume all the way up, you could hear about 120dB.
Experts recommend the following as maximum amounts of time to listen to portable music devices:
12 hrs @ 85dB - (equivalent to motor boat)
8 hrs @ 90dB - (equivalent to lawnmower)
4 hrs @ 95dB - (equivalent to motorcycle)
2 hrs @ 100dB - (equivalent to snowmobile)
1 hr @ 105 dB - (equivalent to chain saw)
30 min @ 110 dB - (equivalent to rock concert, arcade)
15 min @ 115 dB - (equiv.to movie theatre, health clubs)
Watch a short video [WMV]
see also: Unsafe Usage of Portable Music Players May Damage Your Hearing