Teen hearing loss caused by iPods and mp3 players

Photo Illustration by Gabriella Forrest

Have you ever walked by someone and have been able to hear their music perfectly because it’s so loud? Or are you that someone? Latest research has shown more and more teens are destroying their hearing by listening to music on their iPods or mp3 players too loud. A recent report on NPR confirmed that teen hearing loss has increased.

“My ears ring and I constantly have to pop my ears. I have trouble hearing my friends sometimes,” Thomas Snider said.

In a study conducted in 1994, then again in 2006, teenage hearing loss has increased 30 percent  to one in five teenagers experiencing trouble hearing. iPods can exceed 110 decibels (dB, a logarithmic unit of sound intensity) and 85 dB or higher can be dangerous.

“My iPod only plays out of one headphone, and now I can’t hear well out of my left ear,” Ellis Holdsworth said.

Scientists recommend using earplugs when going to concerts, working in the yard with loud tools, or anytime you are exposed to loud noises for a long time. To reduce your chances of hearing loss, researchers suggest you should get over-the-ear padded headphones rather than ear buds to protect your inner ear. Brands like Skullcandy and Sony have headphones at a decent price. Have someone stand next to you and turn on your music. If the person next to you can hear your music, it’s too loud.

By AMY LU AND GABRIELLA FORREST