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4 TIPS TO PREVENT KIDS’ HEARING DAMAGE FROM EARBUDS

Pixmac000080239011Ear buds are the latest fashion, inserted inside the ears. Today’s kids have grown up with them, but they’re really a new fad, and most kids don’t realize their dangers. These marvels don’t cancel out surrounding noise. The result is that they turn up the volume to hear the tunes. Danger, warning…..this is just the way to damage hearing, for a lifetime. Permanent hearing loss is no small deal. Not to worry though, there are simple ways to help prevent kids’ hearing damage from ear buds.


Audiologists (doctors who study and care for hearing and the ears) are concerned that today’s youth will suffer extensive hearing damage from earbuds, due to the popularity of iPods and mp3s. They estimate that up to 25% of young people are listening to dangerously high volumes for too long and damaging their hearing. Permanently. Forever.  Music from earbuds is only one-half inch from the eardrum! It travels as vibrations through the tiny bones of the inner ear to even tinier hair cells in the spiral-shaped cochlea. When the sound is too loud, these hair cells are damaged or even killed. And they never regenerate. Here are four tips to prevent hearing damage when using earbuds:

  • Tip #1 to prevent hearing damage from ear buds: When using ear buds, keep the volume below 6 on a scale of 10 or less than half the volume available. If someone standing nearby can hear the music, it’s definitely. Too. Loud.
  • Tip #2 to prevent hearing damage from ear buds: Limit the amount of time you listen to music through ear buds. Listen to the iHome speaker or radio. Let your ears rest every now and then. If you have a ringing in the ears, it’s a sure sign that the music was too loud and your ears are possibly damaged.
  • Tip #3 to prevent hearing damage from ear buds: Switch to noise-cancelling headphones. Okay they’re not as subtle nor as cool, but they’re really safer for the ear. Or pay extra for noise-cancelling ear buds. With them, surrounding noises don’t compete with the music, so you can listen at softer volume and still hear the high’s and low’s. It’s worth the extra bucks to protect your hearing.
  • Tip #4 to prevent hearing damage from ear buds: Keep them ear buds clean! Swab them with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol. Keep the ears clean, too, because the earbuds seal the ear canal, where germs such as staphylococcus, can incubate and cause earaches and ear infections.

A study from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention in 2001 found that almost 13% of kids between the ages of 6 and 19 had already suffered hearing loss. Even though this study has been contested, all audiologists agree whole-heartedly that there’s great concern for kids’ use of ear buds.
Following these four tips to prevent hearing damage from ear buds will protect your ears or your child’s ears. That means a long life of enjoying your favorite jams. That’s more important than today’s latest fad… any day.

Ruby Moseley, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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