iPod Hearing Hazards - How To Take Care Of Your Ears

By: Jason Cox

Many people have been suffering from hearing problems since the introduction of iPod and other portable music devices. One of the reasons that the iPod stands out among its competitors is that it is one of the loudest portable music players available right now.

The loudness also becomes a vice as people use iPods music capabilities to its full extent, paying little or no attention to the effects frequent loud music can have on their hearing.

If you frequently listen to your iPod at a high volume it can cause Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. The effects of noise-induced hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. The symptoms increase when a person is frequently exposed to loud noises for a long period of time. Prevention is the only cure for noise-induced hearing loss. Here are a few tips to help take care of your ears while listening to your iPod.

Use noise canceling or sound-isolating headphones. The earphones that come with iPods are hazardous because they fit directly into the ear. These earphones boost sound by as much as nine decibels. You have the equivalent to the sound of a lawnmower going directly into your ear. Since the earphones do not fit snugly into the ear, it is possible for background noise to interfere with the music.

The listener has to turn the music up louder make up for the extra noise in the background. Turning up the music helps the listener hear the full range of the music by drowning out any extra noise. Sound-isolating headphones fit snugly into the ear so that background noises cannot be heard over the music. This way, the music can be kept at safe volume.

Turn the volume down. Many people listen to their iPod at a higher volume than is necessary to hear the music well. People are good at turning the music up when they cannot hear it well. Most are not as adept at turning it down once the background noise has subsided. When there is not any noise in the background, turn the music down a couple of notches to see if you can still hear it well.

If the lower volume sounds fine, leave it there. This a good practice to follow even if you do not have the music turned up because of background noise. Since the length of time you listen to loud music is a factor in hearing loss you should periodically test a lower volume level.

Use your ears wisely. Theres something about music that just makes it sound better when its louder. The thing to be careful about with noise is that you do not listen to it too loud for too long too frequently. Ask yourself, Do I have to have it up this loud? You really do not have to listen to every song at the louder settings. Listening to a few songs at a lower volume will make the one song you absolutely must listen to loudly more enjoyable. Think of it as an indulgence while you are on a diet.

Know your family history. If your family has a history of hearing loss, then you are more at risk for hearing problems as well. Loud music for lengthy periods of time will only increase the probability of hearing problems. If your family has a history of hearing problems, you should take extra precautions to preserve your hearing.

Get your hearing checked. This is the only way to accurately gauge your current level of hearing. Having your ears checked will give an early warning to hearing loss. You should have your hearing checked around the same time that you have your eyes checked. This way your doctor can measure the change from visit to visit. If a negative change in hearing is detected, your doctor may be able to give you treatment to improve your hearing or preservation tips to keep it from getting worse.

Quit smoking. Smokers already have a chance of hearing loss than non-smokers. Listening to loud music increases those chances. Being able to listen to your music worry-free is one of many reasons to quit smoking.

Having an iPod is like having a fast car: the speedometer may go up to 220, but the speed limit only allows you to go 70 for your safety. Just because the iPod can play music loudly does not mean you have to listen to that way. Protect your hearing because once its gone, you may never get it back.

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