Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What sound? Popular music devices could be dialing up hearing losses

Date:
November 27, 2012
Source:
Harris Health System
Summary:
The popularity of personal music devices like iPods and other MP3 players and their lack of sound-limiting controls has an ear specialist concerned. These devices, when combined with attached ear buds and headphones, can generate sound levels up to 115 decibels, well above the highest level of 85 decibels recommended by most hearing experts.

The popularity of personal music devices like iPods and other MP3 players and their lack of sound-limiting controls has a Harris Health System ear specialist concerned. These devices, when combined with attached ear buds and headphones, can generate sound levels up to 115 decibels, well above the highest level of 85 decibels recommended by most hearing experts.

"Unfortunately, children who suffer noise-induced hearing loss from these devices are risking permanent damage that will affect them as adults and for their entire lives," says Dr. Sancak Yuksel, otorhinolaryngologist, Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, and assistant professor, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 28 million Americans suffer partial or permanent hearing loss and another 30 million are exposed to dangerous noise levels daily.

Signs of potential hearing loss:

  • Raises voice to talk
  • Complains of ringing in ear
  • Turns up TV or radio volume
  • Fails to understand conversations in large gatherings
  • Feels people are mumbling or talking too quickly
  • Gets up close or sits in front to listen

Hearing loss occurs when the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged. Sudden or prolonged damage can lead to permanent hearing loss or complete deafness.

"Aside from the intensity of the sound or a noise, my concern is how long the person is exposed to that sound or noise," Yuksel says.

While everyone is susceptible to hearing loss, Yuksel worries that children risk more long-term issues when they don't fully complete their speech and learning development. He estimates 15 percent of children under age 18 suffer some sort of noise-induced hearing loss.

Recommendations for using ear buds or headphones:

  • Adjust volume of device in quiet environment
  • Use sound-limiting controls
  • Take periodic breaks of 15-20 minutes when listening to loud music to allow ears to recover
  • Use loose-fitting ear buds or headphones to minimize intensity of sound

"Basically, everyone should avoid noises that are too loud, too close or last too long," he says.

Common decibel readings:

  • Refrigerator -- 45 decibels
  • Normal conversation -- 60 decibels
  • Heavy traffic noise -- 85 decibels
  • Vacuum cleaner -- 85 decibels
  • Rock concerts -- 115-120 decibels
  • Motorcycles, firecrackers -- 125 decibels
  • Jet engine -- 130 decibels

People who attend a rock concert for longer than an hour at a sustained 115-decibel level can suffer damage to the inner ear. The result could be a temporary threshold shift (a brief loss of hearing) or tinnitus (a ringing in the ears). Most individuals tend to recover from these conditions; however, those with prolonged damage could suffer permanent hearing loss or ear ringing.

Yuksel suggests using ear plugs to minimize the effects of loud sounds. Some ear plugs can reduce sound by 20-30 decibels, while more expensive headphones can reduce sound even more.

For more information on hearing loss, visit the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harris Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Harris Health System. "What sound? Popular music devices could be dialing up hearing losses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127190033.htm>.
Harris Health System. (2012, November 27). What sound? Popular music devices could be dialing up hearing losses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127190033.htm
Harris Health System. "What sound? Popular music devices could be dialing up hearing losses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127190033.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) A legally blind Michigan man is 'seeing something new every day' thanks to a high-tech retinal implant procedure. He's one of the first in the country to receive a 'bionic eye' since the federal government approved the surgery. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins