Do you use your MP3 player for more than one hour each day? Then the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) thinks you should be cutting your usage back.
A new report from WHO finds that listening to a personal audio player for more than one hour each day can lead to permanent hearing loss. The problem is most visible among young people (or 12-to-35-year-olds) who listen to their audio devices at substantial volume. According to WHO, about 40 per cent of young people are also exposing themselves to hearing loss by regularly visiting loud bars, nightclubs, and sporting events.
WHO’s Dr. Shelly Chadha says there’s an easy way to address the issue: listen less and turn the volume down.
“As the intensity of sound increases, the permissible time for safe exposure reduces,” Chadha said. “Teenagers and young people can better protect their hearing by keeping the volume down on personal audio devices, wearing earplugs when visiting noisy venues, and using carefully fitted, and, if possible, noise-cancelling earphones or headphones.”
Part of the problem is that many people just don’t realize how loud their music is being played. She says someone who listens to their music at 95 decibles for thirty minutes each day is “going to get irreversibly damaged (hearing) in a couple of years’ time.”
Chadha says she’d like to see the companies behind personal audio devices begin limiting how loud those devices can be played.
Not sure how loud is too loud? Chadha says that if you can’t hear the conversations going on around you, the volume is too high.