The popularity of iPods and similar devices may leave a generation of adults with impaired hearing decades ahead of their time, the Boston Globe reports. Sensory cells in the ear can only take so much bombardment, and frequent, pulsing music causes irreparable damage. New research also shows that boys often listen louder and that peer pressure influences volume.
"You can listen loud, but you have to listen smart," says the study's author, noting that teens often fail to realize how much they are cranking up the volume, and that some adults in their 20s are being diagnosed with hearing at the level of a typical 50-year-old. Though each ear varies, he suggests daily jamming be limited to 90 minutes at 80% volume.