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  1. #1
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    Are earbuds making you deaf?

    I wonder about this when I see people with their ears plugged constantly. This article is about kids, but my coworker listens to music all day and has it turned up so I can hear it a lot of the time, and I just wonder if she's messing up her hearing. It would be interesting to know if there are any studies on adults, and over longer time periods, though I guess its a more recent phenomenon that people listen so much with earbuds stuck in their ears.

    Study: 1 in 5 US teenagers has slight hearing loss

    CHICAGO – A stunning one in five teens has lost a little bit of hearing, and the problem has increased substantially in recent years, a new national study has found.

    Some experts are urging teenagers to turn down the volume on their digital music players, suggesting loud music through earbuds may be to blame — although hard evidence is lacking. They warn that slight hearing loss can cause problems in school and set the stage for hearing aids in later life.

    "Our hope is we can encourage people to be careful," said the study's senior author, Dr. Gary Curhan of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

    The researchers analyzed data on 12- to 19-year-olds from a nationwide health survey. They compared hearing loss in nearly 3,000 kids tested from 1988-94 to nearly 1,800 kids tested over 2005-06.

    The prevalence of hearing loss increased from about 15 percent to 19.5 percent.

    Most of the hearing loss was "slight," defined as inability to hear at 16 to 24 decibels — or sounds such as a whisper or rustling leaves. A teenager with slight hearing loss might not be able to hear water dripping or his mother whispering "good night."
    I think there should be a lot more warning out there about this risk.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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    I got an iPod last Christmas for the first time. So I went and listened to some music with my earphones in and when I was done noticed my ears hurt realllllllllllllllly bad. I didn't even have the volume up that high. I believe there's something really wrong with those earphones I don't like using them.

  3. #3
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    I've never been able to use any of these earphone things, even back in the walkman days, due to pain in my ears.
    Disclaimer: The post contained herein represents the opinions of a fan and may or may not bear any relation to reality.

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    When my students listen to music on their mp3's, I always tell them if I can hear it, it's way too loud.

    The stupid thing is that their parents should realize the dangers because we were all warned about listening to music that was too loud. How many of us walked out of dance clubs with our hearing muffled and ears ringing from dancing too close to the speakers.

    This isn't rocket science -- if you have something blasting in your ears for a significant amount of time, ear/headphones or not, you risk your hearing.

    My ears physically hurt from the disk-like earbuds that came with my iPod, so I bought some buds that are more cylindrical, and I don't get sore ears. I'm also a lot wiser than I was when I was 20, and I keep the volume at a reasonable level -- so that I can still hear conversation around me.
    Haunting the Princess of Pink since 20/07/11...

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    I've never been able to stand any kind of ear phones or head phones.

    I also don't know how people can walk around and ride the bus and stuff without being able to hear all that is going on around them.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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    I still used those lightweight headband earphones with the fluffy pads or I used those ones that have similar ear pieces but actually slide onto the ear, but I do not use earbuds or anything that goes into my ear because they have always hurt my ears.

    I was a musician of the more classically trained variety while growing up, so I preferred being able to hear the nuances of music, even if it was computer generated pop. Neither blasting it in my ears nor tuning out the world ever appealled to me.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    I think there should be a lot more warning out there about this risk.


    Doesn't every single mp3 player (or portable DVD player, etc.) have a warning in it's manual? Every single one I have bought mentioned this. To set the volume at a level at home where you can hear it sufficiently, and when you are in louder places, do NOT turn up the volume as it will cause hearing damage.

    I'm not sure there is anything more ANNOYING AND INCONSIDERATE than someone who plays music in ANY public space where someone else can hear that person's music. If those people end up deaf, it's completely at their own hands. And if they can't hear that semi-truck bearing down on them... Oh well. Stuff happens. (THAT is how irritating I find these people!!! )
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post


    Doesn't every single mp3 player (or portable DVD player, etc.) have a warning in it's manual? Every single one I have bought mentioned this. To set the volume at a level at home where you can hear it sufficiently, and when you are in louder places, do NOT turn up the volume as it will cause hearing damage.
    oh...

    I don't have one so don't know, but I think it needs to be more talked about in the media. I just don't think people take it seriously enough.

    I'm not sure there is anything more ANNOYING AND INCONSIDERATE than someone who plays music in ANY public space where someone else can hear that person's music.
    well there are people who talk loudly on cell phones to give them a run for their money...
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    oh...

    I don't have one so don't know, but I think it needs to be more talked about in the media. I just don't think people take it seriously enough.
    The EU has established guidelines for acceptable volume limits. Every audio player has to meet those requirements to be sold. The US does not have any such restrictions that I'm aware of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    well there are people who talk loudly on cell phones to give them a run for their money...
    That's why I carry foam earplugs with me -- and almost always am wearing the when I'm on the bus. There usually are at least two people carrying on VERY LOUD conversations on their cell phones (so as to be heard over the noisy bus sounds), often each in a different language. And surprisingly often one of them is sitting in the seat directly behind me. I still can hear them with the earplug in, but at least the sound is muffled down a few decibels.

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    The bus is the new phone booth...
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    The bus is the new phone booth...
    I liked the old phone booths better -- where one usually had it to oneself for a PRIVATE conversation. What a quaint concept! Now it's sharing some extremely personal information with your very closest friend ... and another three dozen random strangers who happen to be riding the bus with you.

  13. #13
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    I'm so old-fashioned...

    To me, cell phones are for emergency situations or for private conversations in private places. I would never talk about personal matters where others might hear. It's so tacky...and tactless.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

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    I agree about cell phones - I especially don't want to hear people arguing on them. As for ear buds, I only use my MP3 player when I'm away and don't have a radio to listen to at night. Then I used the ear phones and set the sleep function for ten or twenty minutes. Of course, I'd usually wake up at some point and unwrap the cord from around my neck!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    That's why I carry foam earplugs with me -- and almost always am wearing the when I'm on the bus. There usually are at least two people carrying on VERY LOUD conversations on their cell phones (so as to be heard over the noisy bus sounds), often each in a different language. And surprisingly often one of them is sitting in the seat directly behind me. I still can hear them with the earplug in, but at least the sound is muffled down a few decibels.
    Ah yes. Cell Yell. Like the social worker I couldn’t help over hear talking about a client, in a waiting area, at Logan Airport, with about 120 other people there, hearing every word she said.
    Really is right, if someone else can hear your earphones, it’s too loud.
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

  16. #16
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    Another reason not to have ear buds/phones too loud: If you bike, walk, or run outside, you can't hear cars coming. Very dangerous.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by KatieC View Post
    I agree about cell phones - I especially don't want to hear people arguing on them. As for ear buds, I only use my MP3 player when I'm away and don't have a radio to listen to at night. Then I used the ear phones and set the sleep function for ten or twenty minutes. Of course, I'd usually wake up at some point and unwrap the cord from around my neck!
    I have the same problem if I go to sleep listening to music on my mp3.

    But I think it is a matter of consideration for those around not to talk too loud on a phone or have your music that loud that others have to hear it. One of the things I hate about travelling on public transport.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    I'm so old-fashioned...

    To me, cell phones are for emergency situations or for private conversations in private places. I would never talk about personal matters where others might hear. It's so tacky...and tactless.

    Me too. Cell phone to me is for emergencies only, usually only carry one when on the highway, or if I will be away from home for a period and might need info. Think back in the old days, and using a pay phone. Might have done it a few times a year, if that. Never ever just to call and ask "whatcha doin'?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Really View Post

    My ears physically hurt from the disk-like earbuds that came with my iPod, so I bought some buds that are more cylindrical, and I don't get sore ears. I'm also a lot wiser than I was when I was 20, and I keep the volume at a reasonable level -- so that I can still hear conversation around me.

    Yeah, me too. can't wear the Apple type buds for even 5 minutes. Feels like my ears are cut. Bought nice little BOSE ones.

    Actually, my ipod is on all the time. And I mean all. the. time. But I use it either at home in the dock or in the car intergrated with the car's system. Rarely with the earphones.

    And I'm always telling my grandsons to turn the volume down. So do their parents. One plays it so loud it's skary.

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    I love my blackberry. How else to provide practice reports at the rink?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DickButtonFan View Post
    I got an iPod last Christmas for the first time. So I went and listened to some music with my earphones in and when I was done noticed my ears hurt realllllllllllllllly bad. I didn't even have the volume up that high. I believe there's something really wrong with those earphones I don't like using them.
    iPod's earphone are horribly big, I can't even get it inside my ear. I bought another one with a rubber head that you stuff it inside and it's way more comfy with better sound quality. Also I believe with those rubber in-ear type earphones you don't need to have the volume up too high to hear it clearly.

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