Listen Up! Earbuds Can Damage Your Hearing

One in five teenagers has some type of hearing loss. Experts say the improper use of earbuds can be a contributing factor. The problem is not limited to teens.

Courtney Ballard is like many of us. She likes her music loud. When she is working out five days a week, she listens to music through her earbuds. She says the louder the music is, the more motivated she is to exercise.

Lynn Reese understands that. She is the lead audiologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. However, she says earbuds played too loud too long can cause permanent damage. “They fit further down in the ear canal, so there is a greater sound pressure level against the eardrum and that’s going to create a louder sound going into the ear which can be damaging over time,” said Reese.

Alegent Creighton Clinic audiologist Rebecca McGee says custom made ear plugs, or the regular old headphones, are safer to use. They are becoming more popular with the younger crowd. McGee said they don’t have a speaker directed down your ear canal.

There are some key signs that you’re suffering from a hearing loss. They include ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears, muffled sounds, or difficulty hearing when there’s a lot of background noise. There is no cure.

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