Bud style headphones can damage your hearing

The small ear bud style headphones (inserted into the ears) do not block outside sounds. They easily desensitize the user to dangerously high sound levels. MP3 players such as the iPod pose an additional danger because they hold thousands of songs and can play for hours without recharging and users tend to listen continuously for hours at a time.

Since damage to hearing caused by high volume is determined by its duration, continuous listening to an MP3 player, even at a seemingly reasonable level, can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear that transmit sound impulses to the brain.

If you wear headphones, the volume is too loud if a person standing near you can hear the music coming through the headphones.

Some tips that can prevent headphones from damaging your hearing include:
(1) Decreasing the amount of time you use headphones.
(2) Turning down the volume. Listening to music at level 5 or above for just 15 minutes per day may cause long-term hearing damage.

Adults and children are commonly exposed to loud music. Between ear buds connected to iPods or MP3 players and music concerts, loud music can cause hearing loss. The inner part of the ear contains tiny hair cells (nerve endings). The hair cells change sound into electric signals, then nerves carry these signals to the brain, which recognizes sound. These tiny hair cells are easily damaged by loud sounds.

The human ear is like any other body part - too much use and it may become damaged. Over time, repeated exposure to loud noise and music can cause hearing loss....