You seem them everywhere — On the bus, on campus, at the mall. MP3 players have become increasingly popular throughout the past five years because they are a convenient way to listen to music.

While it’s great that consumers have a stylish way of listening to music, MP3 players and other portable devices do not come with warning labels! Listeners are blasting their music, phone conversations and podcasts at up to 120 decibels

That’s loud enough to cause an irreversible hearing loss.

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about noise-induced hearing loss.

“I listen to my iPod all the time. How do I know if my volume is safe?”

  1. Make sure the volume bar is not higher than 80 percent
  2. The American Institute of Physics recommends not listening for more than 30 minutes in a row when the sound is being pumped directly into your ears via headphones or ear buds
  3. Background noise should be heard while the music is still playing

“Can listeners crank their MP3 players to jet engine levels?”

Yes! It’s true. MP3 players can be cranked up to very dangerous levels so that is why it’s important to be aware and be safe!

“Hearing loss just from listening to music? No way, that would never happen to me!”

Believe it or not, yes it can. It can happen to you. It can happen to your friend. It can happen to anyone. Luckily there are audiologists that are able to help diagnose and treat your hearing loss.


An audiologist specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing losses. They can help you if you feel you need to get your hearing checked.

“Where can I find an audiologist?”

The American Academy of Audiology offers a way for you to find one, no matter where you live. Call 800-AAA-2336 for more information.

About The Author

Tina Penman is a graduate student getting her clinical doctorate in audiology

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