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Hearing Loss and Headphone Use

By Tatevik Aprikyan
Published On: Mar 21 2014 10:49:26 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2014 10:54:54 PM CDT

Hearing Loss And Headphones

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Hearing loss is one of the most common problems in the United States, affecting one in 10 people.

Since the 80s noise induced hearing loss in teens has increased by 30 percent. Much of it is caused by wearing headphones that play extra loud music.

Early signs of hearing loss include the inability to distinguish consonants. A person may hear the word "ram" instead of "ham."

It's pretty common to wear headphones when working or listening to music, but when the volume is turned up too high it's causing permanent damage to hearing.

Audiologist Dr. Kalob Parsons said he sees more kids and teens with hearing loss.

"Noise induced hearing loss is permanent," said Parsons.

Permanent hearing loss can happen if you listen to anything over 85 decibels for extended periods of time.
85 decibels is about as loud as a hair dryer, blenders or power tools.

Surrounding yourself with sound this loud for 30 minutes or longer can result in permanent hearing loss.

Parsons said if a favorite song comes on, go ahead and turn up the volume.

"If they want to turn it up for one song that's okay, but then they got to turn it back down so they're not causing damage," said Parsons.

For parents who have teens who always have headphones in parsons says if you can hear it, it's too loud.

"If that child cannot carry on a conversation without straining it's too loud," said Parsons.

Parsons said it makes no difference if people use headphones with small ear buds that go inside the ears or larger ones which go over ears. If it's too loud, it will cause permanent hearing damage.

A full list of what everyday sounds are on the decibel scale can be found on the Turn It To The Left website.

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