Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Earbuds Can Damage Hearing, by Mikayla Peters

Hearing loss in teens is “30% higher than it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” according to the Journal of American Medical Association.

The smaller headphones become, the more dangerous they become. Earbuds are the worst, because they are placed directly in the ear canal. Their maximum volume is 110 decibels, the same as a rock concert.

A UW-L sophomore said, “I always knew it was loud, but I’m just trying to block out the other noises around me.”  Just because earbuds are more stylish, the larger headphones that do not enter the ear are safer. To avoid turning up the music, find headphones that are noise-canceling, or risk hearing loss.

Loss of hearing can lead to dementia over time. Dr. Frank Lin, a professor of medicine, says “With bad hearing, your brain has to allocate more of its resources to help with hearing.”

Hearing loss doesn’t just affect teens. 16% of American adults have hearing loss linked to high-volume headphones, according to the Archives of Internal Medicine.

To avoid or prevent hearing loss, listen to music below 70%. Do not max out the volume, and limit time spent using headphones. Listening to music at full volume for more than an hour can cause permanent damage in less than 5 years.