Tel Aviv University tells teens: Turn down the volume

Using MP3 players at high volume puts teens at risk for early hearing loss, Tel Aviv University researchers have found.

While  the devices allow users to listen to crystal-clear tunes at high volume, university findings show that  personal-listening devices can be a serious health hazard, with teens most at risk.

One in four teens is in danger of early hearing loss — as early as their 30s  and 40s — as a direct result of these listening habits, according to Professor Chava Muchnik of the university’s department of communication disorders. She worked with colleagues to study teens’ music-listening habits and take acoustic measurements of preferred listening levels.

The results, published in the International Journal of Audiology, demonstrate that teens have harmful music-listening habits when it comes to iPods and other MP3 devices.

“In 10 or 20 years it will be too late to realize that an entire generation of young people is suffering from hearing problems much earlier than expected from natural aging,” says Muchnik.