You have most likely noticed the growing number of mp3 players being carried around these days. Users say they come in handy when it comes to drowning out the rest of the world. But some experts are worried now that cranking up the tunes may eventually make it hard for you to hear anything.
Stacey Tillett of Sherman Oaks, California picked out a new I-Pod today. Not worried now that it may be damaging to her hearing.
"I like to listen to music loud, especially, I work out with my I-Pod I use it when I commute, I use it when i don't want to be bothered by people on the street," says Stacey Tillet.
But like all modern mp3 players, the device Stacey bought is an advance on the old technology that will allow him to listen longer and at higher volume than ever before, without ever having to change a tape or cd.
Dr. Brian Fligor of Boston's Children's Hospital has been studying the effects of the new technology... longlife batteries and earbuds instead of over-the-ear headphones... on hearing loss. He says there's unquestionably a connection.
Its a combination of how-how loud it is and for how long you listen, the two work together to determine your overall daily noise dose," says Dr. Fligor.
Fligor also says it just takes common sense to see the problem in a nutshell.
Normal conversation registers about 60 decibels... A barking dog, up to 70...the subway, around 85, still in the safe zone... But the rock band at 120 and your personal stereo system at up to 130 decibels could cause hearing loss if you listen too long.
But in your car and especially in your ear, Dr. Fligor says to be safe, you have to impose limits because the technology does not. If you imagine a volume scale of 1 to 10, level 6 for one hour or less per day for one hour or less per day is probably the max.
Hard to do, say some users, like Stacy Tillet.
"When I turn up all the volume//4152 it feels like its kinda moving
through your blood with you," says Tillet.