Turn the Music Down and Protect Your Ears

I have a teenage brother and often, he walks around with headphones on, blasting music loud enough to garner a reproof from my mother, with a warning that he's going to damage his hearing.

Based on one author's study, my mother is right. Urban living is harmful to the ears and can likely cause hearing damage, according to Katherine Bouton's new book, "Shouting Won't Help: Why I — and 50 Million Other Americans — Can't Hear You." In fact, in her book, Bouton claims the noise of everyday life, damaging most people's hearing beyond repair, is caused by choices we make every day.

Eight out of 10 New Yorkers have been exposed to damaging levels of noise, not due to the sounds of the city, but instead caused by voluntary decisions, such as listening to music, according to The Washington Post. These levels of noise are enough to cause permanent hearing damage or even loss.

While workers on construction sites often are provided ear muffs to prevent hearing damage, shouldn't we take the same precautions in our daily lives? Aging is still the leading causing of hearing loss, but noise exposure comes in second.

OSHA has provided extensive regulations regarding noise safety in the workplace. Workers are encouraged to keep noise exposure below 90 decibels for an eight-hour day. But we also need to be mindful of the noise levels we are putting directly into our ears during our workouts or while enjoying a new, favorite song. 

So, be mindful of the volume. You might be doing damage when you don't even realize it. 

Posted by Jessica Acklen on Apr 10, 2013