Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Be Careful What You Buy: MP3s, Ipods, Ear Buds

Be careful with the purchase of MP3 players like the Ipod this holiday season. 12 percent of children and teens have noise-induced hearing loss, and hearing loss as doubled over the past 30 years.

The United Kingdom has much more stringent laws about the maximum volume of portable music players, and as a result, more Americans will have noise-induced hearing loss beginning in their 30's and 40's.

The earbuds are thought to be worse than headphones because they are tucked inside the canal and can transmit more decibels if the sound is turned up. The problem with noise-induced hearing loss is that by the time severe hearing loss is obvious, the damage is already done. The problem is devastating to those who love music the most.

It's thought that noise cancellation may be better, because people may be less likely to crank up the volume to block out environmental noise, the risks are still there, and it's hard to know just how much is too much. Everyone should watch how long and how loud they listen. A recent study from Australia showed that 1/4 of Ipod users listened at levels sufficient to cause noise-induced hearing loss.

Ipods hearing loss
Hearing Loss Among Rockers
MP3s & Hearing Loss

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