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Dangers of Earbuds

If you frequently listen to loud music while using earbuds or headphones, you could be damaging your hearing. An MP3 player played at 70 percent of its top volume is nearly as loud as a chainsaw.

“Over time, earbuds and headphones can cause noise-induced hearing loss when played too loudly,” says Adam S. Morgan, MD, otolaryngologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Essentially, you are damaging the hair cells that send sound messages to the brain.”

Adam S. Morgan, MD
Adam S. Morgan, MD

The solution: Use earbuds in moderation. Listen to music or play a video game at no more than 60 percent of the maximum volume, and limit your earbud time to 60 minutes. If you suspect you or your child may have experienced hearing loss, see your doctor right away. “Symptoms of hearing loss include buzzing or ringing when you hear a loud noise, and distortion of sound,” says Morgan.

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