Jamming to the iPod Is Making Us Deaf

A generation of adults will suffer hearing loss well ahead of its time
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 18, 2009 10:57 AM CDT
Some young adults are being diagnosed with hearing typical of 50-year-olds, a doctor says.   (Shutterstock)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – 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.
(Read more hearing loss stories.)