Earbuds, Blasting Music Actually Blasts Your Ears

File Photo

In March, we observe World Hearing Day, recognizing that 1 in 5 Americans have some sort of hearing loss.

It is certainly alarming, as we watch the next generation of Americans pump up the music on the latest set of wireless ear buds. As audiologists, this is deeply concerning because music companies encourage children and teens to “experience the music” at loud volumes.

I, too, am guilty of blasting music and attending a concert or two that left my ears ringing for days. But as a member of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association, I feel compelled to note that once someone loses their hearing, he or she can’t get it back.

Just look at all the rock stars who are now suffering from permanent hearing loss, from Pete Townsend, to Eric Clapton, to Paul Stanley to Brian Wilson. Many of these musicians are now learning to lip read after suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus. Tinnitus occurs when the ear perceives sound, often in the form of ringing, even when no sound is present.

When a child or teen blasts music through ear buds, it goes straight into their ears. The levels of the music they experience can be as damaging as attending concerts and can result in hearing loss and ringing in the ears. We must educate parents, teachers and children about how these earbuds can contribute to permanent hearing loss.

Bob DiSogra
NJSHA Member


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