There are over 175 million iPod users in the world today.

Blasting your iPod or another portable music player has now been shown to cause temporary and possibly permanent hearing loss.

Occupational noise exposure can lead to noise-induced hearing loss but less is known about the long term and short term effects of recreational noise.

Here are some of the facts we’ve learned from the University of Colorado and the Children’s Hospital of Boston research:

  • Many people assume there device has a maximum volume default setting that is safe.
  • Current devices will produce noise up to 115 dB at maximum volume, the level of noise from a chainsaw or rock concert.
  • At full volume damage can begin after just 5 minutes.
  • Listening at 80% of full volume or greater for more than 90 minutes per day can lead to damage to delicate hair cells in the inner ear.
  • Many people listen for longer periods of time due to longer lasting batteries delivering power for 15 hours or more and larger play lists.
  • The risk of damage increases the longer the period of time spent at higher volumes and can be permanent.

Here are some sound recommendations for use of portable music devices for you and your teens:

  • Always keep the volume at less than 80% of full volume. I recommend no more than 50%!
  • Limit the length of time you use your ear buds to less than 90 minutes.
  • If you can clearly hear the lyrics of the songs your teen is listening to when standing next to them, it is too high of a volume!
  • The louder the volume the less time it can take for your hearing to be affected.
  • Avoid turning up the volume to block out noisy surroundings, you should always be able to hear people speaking near you.

One of the first signs of damage is ringing in the ears (tinnitus), or hear muffled speech.

Get your hearing checked as soon as you suspect you have acquired any hearing loss.

Always remember that hearing loss can sneak up on you and can be permanent.

Noise induced hearing loss from music devices is completely avoidable!