Can iPods cause hearing damage?
At work or at the gym, on the train or at home, millions of Americans can be found blasting their iPods and other MP3 players. But could they be causing permanent hearing loss?
"A sudden loud noise or exposure to high noise levels over time can cause permanent damage to the tiny hairs in the cochlea, which then can't transmit sounds as effectively as they did before," explains Samir Shah, MD,
Virtua otolaryngologist. "This is called noise-induced hearing loss."
How to protect your hearing
- Keep the volume of MP3 players below 85 decibels. If you have to turn the volume down to hear someone talking to you, it's probably too loud.
- Use sound-isolating earphones to reduce incoming noise.
Now hear this
- Avoid prolonged, continuous listening to MP3 players by taking 15-minute breaks every few hours.
"Noise-induced hearing loss occurs gradually and is painless. So, if you've been exposed to high volumes for long periods of time or hear persistent ringing in your ears, it's important to get a hearing test," says Dr. Shah.
For help making an appointment, call 1-888-Virtua-3 (1-888-847-8823).