Listening to music on headphones or earbuds at ’ 50% volume’ for an hour a day can be detrimental to a young person’s hearing ……
Published this month is a report on young persons aural health, warning of serious long term hearing loss. Serious, not just because of the hearing impairment itself, but also the consequences, contributing to communication difficulties, social isolation, and in later life, increased risk of accidents and falls, and with several health complications, including earlier onset dementia.
Daniel Fink and Jan Mayes discussed current research, noting that from children to young adults many are listening to many hours of music daily at volumes exceeding the globally recommended public health limit of 70 decibels of average leisure noise exposure for a day. Above 70dB it gets worse rapidly.
According to a 2011 study, compared to people without hearing loss, those who had hearing loss were at higher risk for developing dementia: people with mild hearing loss had nearly twice the risk of developing dementia, those with moderate loss had three times the risk, people with severe loss had five times the risk.
Young people should be advised that long term exposure to loud music may ultimately cause deafness and brain damage.
Perhaps the headphone industry should tie up with audio and mobile electronics designers to specify mutual drive levels and earphone sensitivity to help control maximum sound intensity and thus protect consumer ears.