Your Mother Was Right, Loud Music Will Make You Go Deaf

By Andrea Edmunds Oct 13th, 2008

Sometimes I really shudder when I think about how many times science has proved my mother right. Everything from "turn off the TV because it's killing your brain cells" to "if you keep eating junk food you'll get fat." Next I'm certain they'll come out with a report saying that some kid's face really did "get stuck like that."

But the latest scientific discovery has linked permanent hearing loss for those people who have listened to loud music for more than five hours a week. Ok, I may not be an expert, but I think that's a given. Maybe it's just me, but my mom's been telling me that for years - something about her being able to hear the music from my headphones in the next room.

The interesting part was that the report estimates that some sound levels on iPods can reach as loud as 115 decibels. They said max volume on some of the devices can generate as much sound as an airplane taking off.

That's a lot of noise when you really think about it. But then again, we've been told some of the music "them-darn-hoodlums" listen to "these days" actually sounds about as appealing as airplanes taking off, right? So it's an even trade.

Supposedly, the newsworthy part of the report is that the ear buds and other listening apparatus associated with the MP3 generation "may be linked to hearing impairment." I think that translates to "potentially maybe someday if you're not lucky could possibly cause a slight decrease in your hearing abilities sometime in the future when you're really, really old."

Like I said before: I've heard that for years, not really news to me.

But after reading about the report, I'll admit I'm a little freaked out when I listen to my iPod. Although old age is still very far away and I figure I have at least forty more years of being able to listen to whatever I want and how loud I want to, still, it's a little scary to think that someday I may not be able to listen to my sweet tunes on my MP3 player.

But it's still forty years away. A lot can happen in forty years, maybe I won't like listening to music by then. At the very least, odds are there will be enough technology available by the time these effects actually reach teenagers today that this whole hearing loss thing will become a non-issue.

So the question is, why change now?

This whole study brings to mind a former roommate that would drive around giving ear plugs to construction workers, but would blast her stereo so loud that construction workers ten blocks around could probably hear it. Hypocrite.

However, if you are concerned, the report says you can avoid permanent hearing damage by limiting how much you listen to your iPod and just by simply turning down the volume. Problem solved...back when the volume dial was invented.

Good thing they commissioned a whole report to come to that conclusion. Maybe on the next highly scientific report they could save time and money by just talking to my mom.

To help distract you from your impending hearing loss, check out some of our MP3 player reviews or read some of our other blog posts:

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Your Mother Was Right, Loud Music Will Make You Go Deaf