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iPods Can Make You Deaf

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How’s that for a headline? ThisisLondon reports London commuters riding the tube (subway) and trains are at risk for tinnitus and severe damage to the inner ear because they turn up the volume to dangerous levels due to the background noise on public transportation.

What’s so unusual about this? We’ve had Walkmans for years. It’s thanks to the the popularity of the iPods, which have the ability to carry up to 30 hours of music on a single battery charge. The Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) has a Web site to spread the word about the problem.

The solution is to turn down the volume. Convincing users to do it won’t be easy. Young folks believe nothing bad will happen to them.

Which is worse? Enjoying music for many years at acceptable volume levels or enjoying music for a few years at dangerously loud levels. Doesn’t seem like a tough choice to me.

Meryl can have the iPod as loud as she wants… the damage has already been done.

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About Meryl K Evans

Meryl K. Evans, Content Maven, is the author of "Brilliant Outlook Pocketbook" and the co-author of "Adapting to Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites." She has written and edited for a bunch of places online and off. A native Texan, she lives a heartbeat north of Dallas in Plano, Texas with her husband and three kiddos.
  • wow…i think this applies well beyond london subways. i guess it’s just so tempting, you know?

  • This is the same story they had about Walkmans when they came out. It was the same concern – headphones on ears for hours. No one listened to the worries then, no one’s going to listen now (if they can.) Nothing has changed since then: if you listen too loud, your hearing will suffer. It doesn’t matter if it’s an Ipod-like device, a Walkman, a car stereo, or a concert.

    I offer the same advice I offer anyone who asks: dump the Ipod’s buds. Get some good in-ear headphones (not buds, which suck – in-ear headphones actually go into the ear canal like a musician’s in-ear monitor does) as the good sound quality will be easier on your ears and the in-ear aspect of them will help block out outside sounds. And then be intelligent about the volume!

  • hellopeeps22

    I have an ipod, as far as I’m concerned if you listen to loud noises any at all frequently, your hearing will decrease. I recommend not to sleep with it all, and to take 5 minute breaks after every 30 min you listen to it. Watch the volume and make sure its no more than 50%.