Walking around campus or even anywhere where lots of adolescents are, it's easy to spot tons of headphones. There are various types of headphones that adolescents wear today, including Dr. Dre beats or just the simple kind that Apple provides with IPhones or IPods. It's a common occurrence to hear parents demanding their children to turn down their music, regardless if they are listening through speakers or individual headphones. However, could listening to music too loudly through headphones really cause damage to the ears?
According to <a href="http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/headphone-safety.aspx">Osteophathic</a> , 1 in 5 teens now suffer from some sort of hearing loss, a rate that has risen almost 30% from the 1980s and 1990s. Some may question that is increasing rate is strictly from headphones; most experts and doctors believe that the dependent use of headphones is one of the predominant causes. Dr. Foy states, "Listening through headphones at a high volume for extended periods of time can result in lifelong hearing loss for children and teens. Even a mild hearing loss due to excessive noise could lead to developmental delays in speech and language".
One may ask, how loud do I have to listen to music to get to that point? Well, most common MP3 players can produce music up to 120 decibels, which is almost equivalent to music produced at some rock concerts. It is suggested that if one can't hear anything going on around them when listening through their headphones, the decibel is way too high and it's necessary to turn down the music. Dr. Foy advises people not to listen to music any higher than 60% of the maximum music volume when listening through headphones.
Also, it's not just the volume level that could potentially cause damage. Believe it or not, but the length of time you listen to MP3 players also plays a major role. It is suggested that one should not listen to music through headphones any longer than 60 minutes per day. The higher the volume, the shorter the increments of time should be. If someone is listening to their music at maximum volume, only 5-10 minutes is seriously suggested.
Here is a video of a study done by Harvard University and Vanderbilt University researchers, proving the increasing number of young people suffering from hearing loss: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV8_rOhAGxA&feature=related">Hearing Loss Rising Among Adolescents A</a> . This video not only explains how the damage is caused but shows a hearing test of a common American teenager and how listening to his headphones so loudly has caused serious damage to his ears.
The symptoms of hearing loss are almost self-explanatory:
- Ringing, roaring, hissing, or buzzing in the ear
- Trouble understanding speech in loud environments or places with poor acoustics
- Muffled sound or a feeling that one's ears are plugged
- Having to increase volume on things such as the television, computer, and headphones in order to hear better
Overall, it is a smart idea to stop listening to music so loud when enjoying music in general, especially through headphones. Some think it may be a myth that headphones can really cause hearing loss, but tests have proven that it really is a possibility.