earbuds

As a kid, you’re scolded incessantly by your parents to turn down the volume, to keep it quiet, to stop the noise. Perhaps you should have listened. These days, hearing loss isn’t relegated to the aging population. Children are experiencing developmental problems, simply due to the high volume of their headphones. Here is how you can protect yourself and your kids from the effects of headphones and high volumes on the ears.

About 20 percent of teens experiences a type of hear loss. This a 30 percent increase over the rate in the 1980s and 1990s. Furthermore, 72 percent of teenagers experience a reduced hearing ability after attending a concert.This rise is believed to be a result of the increased prevalence of headphones and mp3 players that require them. Here are three ways to save your ears from modern technologies sneaky nasty ways.

1. Know the Limit to Too Loud

Mp3 players can reach the equivalent to the sound level at a rock concert. After an hour and 15 minutes of listening to music, hearing loss can occur. Try to keep your mp3 player volume a little bit above half-way on its range, and never more. You should be able to hear what is going on around you. If you can’t, the volume is up too high.

2. Limit Your Exposure to High Volume

Just like you should avoid listening to music on your mp3 player at 60 percent of the maximum volume, try not to attend a similarly loud party or concert for longer than 60 minutes in order to prevent hearing loss. For extremely loud environments, the limit should be shot all the way down to 5 minutes!

3. Know Hearing Loss Signs

Hearing loss isn’t noticed overnight. In the long-run, signs will emerge and they will be quite obvious. If you are asking for people to repeat themselves more often than usual or experience a ring in your ear that sustains for quite some time, you may want to visit an ear doctor to get your eardrums checked out. From ringing, buzzing, or hissing in the ears to difficulty understanding speech in noisy places to feeling “plugged”, whenever something feels off, get it checked out. For children, the same symptoms will show, but they may also exhibit themselves in indirect ways, such as developmental disabilities or trouble doing well in school.

Photo Credit: david.eugene

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