Listening to an iPod or MP3 player for just an hour can significantly damage your hearing, according to new research. Now after reading these points it will become clear how iPod is causing hearing loss and damaging our ears.
The iPod makes a maximum of 100 to 115 decibels sound which is the same as attending a live concert. The level of hearing loss depends on many factors. Firstly the volume level you are setting your iPod on and secondly how long you are listening to your iPod. If you are listening to sound on 90 or 80 percent of the volume for a very long period of time. There will be a possibility for sensitive ears to develop some degree of hearing loss.
Factors of hearing loss
The susceptibility of a user acquiring a hearing loss from listening to music through earphones depends on several variables, including:
- The volume level selected by the user,
- The amount of time spent listening,
- The pattern of listening behavior,
- The individual genetic susceptibility of the user’s ear to noise damage to the inner ear and
- Other noisy activities that contribute to the individual’s lifetime dose of noise, such as firearms, power tools, recreational vehicles, and loud music.
Why we should not listen to music for long hours?
There will be no surprise about listening to the music at a higher volume from any iPod or mp3 player can cause hearing loss. So, yes listening to the iPod will lead to hearing loss. Despite knowing the effect, there are millions of users who are still doing this.
Since the risk of hearing damage depends upon the volume of sound and the length of time for which you are listening to the sound. If you control both the function properly then the risk of hearing loss is also reduced. But then the question will come in your mind how loud is too loud? And how long is too long?
The handling time of the loud music for our ears is very less. So, you can afford only one or two quick tunes at full volume to afford.
The study shows that if you are listening to music at 100% volume then the ideal time for listening will be five minutes. If listening at 50% volume then you can listen easily without any harm to the ear. Below is the chart, give a look at it which will explain maximum listening time per day using stock earphones:
Signs of Hearing Loss
- Difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms
- You require frequent repetition
- You have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume
- Ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
What to do if you suspect you have a hearing loss
If you have any of these signs, you should see a specialist for a hearing screening. If its an acute situation like being in a concert for several hours, a doctor might put a patient on steroid in some cases, But if the hearing loss is due to chronic exposure, then, unfortunately, a hearing aid might be the last option.
Symptoms of hearing loss
You will not know how sensitive ears you have until you start feeling a weight on your ears and you feel continuous ringing in your ear (Tinnitus). The impact of deafness will be clear if your background level goes up and you need to start focusing on your communication. Thus the above symptoms show the high degree of alertness towards hearing loss.
How iPod cause hearing loss
When you listen to high pitch music, hair cells present within the cochlea of the inner ear get exposed to the high sound for a long duration. These hair cells start losing their ability to transmit sound to the brain. First they temporary loss their function and then it leads to noise-induced hearing loss. These hair cells when die are not replaceable until now but still, some research is going on the reverse noise-induced hearing loss. Therefore, the iPod lead to hearing loss.
Thus after considering the factors and symptoms, it is mandatory for the people to reduce the volume of iPod so that the life of their ears can be increased.
In the US there have been reports of an increase in young adults and teens being diagnosed with hearing at the level of 50-year olds. They are the ones listening to their iPods or MP3s for hours every day – and Lisa Nathan, an audiologist at Cape Town Medi- Clinic says that it’s a problem facing South African youths, too.
“Unfortunately this is only the start for this generation. Accumulated noise damage develops slowly and insidiously. It can take a few years before the real damage begins to show, and the individual may experience noticeable hearing loss problems.
“For example, a 15-year-old teenager who regularly listens to his iPod or MP3 at loud levels for hours at a time may only notice hearing difficulties in his mid- to late-20s. It also depends on lifestyle and exposure to other noise sources, such as an individual who frequents nightclubs or plays in a band can also experience the long term effects on his/her hearing,” she says.
The Better Way of Using Earbuds
The first thing an auditory does it adapts, If you turn up the volume, early on it sound very loud to you, but over time you will adapt to it and after a while it won’t sound loud to you. The same thing will happen if you turn down the volume. Your system will adapt to the lower volume level. Listening to the sound at low-level volume is the best way to avoid hearing loss.
If you go running and you like to listen to music turning up a song or two is ok but if you listen to the whole album for 60 minutes of music at a high-level volume, It could become a problem, It really comes down to time, to take listening breaks. Giving your ears rest from sound is the best way to prevent from hearing loss.