Hearing loss risk for digital music players

Listening to loud music on a digital music player should be limited to 90 minutes a day to avoid damage to hearing, and listening at top volume for more than five minutes risks permanent damage, scientists have warned.

An American study has concluded that people who listen to music through earphones at 80 per cent of volume capacity should do so for less than 90 minutes a day. “If a person exceeds that on one particular day and happens not to use their headphones for the rest of the week, they’re at no higher risk,” said the study’s author, Brian Fligor. “I’m talking about someone who’s exceeding 80 per cent for 90 minutes day after day, month after month, for years.”

The study of 100 students also found no problems for people who listened to music at 10 to 50 per cent of maximum volume for long periods. However, it found people who listened at top volume for more than five minutes might damage their hearing.

The scientists found no differences in sound levels between brands of digital music players or between the genres of music tested, which included rock, R&B, country and dance.

Dr Fligor, an audiologist at the Children’s Hospital of Boston and Harvard Medical School, said hearing loss could take 10 years to show up. “I worry about the teenager who’s going to be 23, 24, 25 years old and has a measurable noise-induced hearing loss, and now has another 60-something years to live with his hearing, which is only going to get worse.”

Source: SMH

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