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How to enjoy music without harming your ears

"by " Albert Stein

While many of us love listening to music as loud as it can go, unfortunately this behaviour may not be doing wonders for our hearing health.

Listening to music on personal music devices is undoubtedly a fun and relaxing thing to do, but the Palo Alto Medical Foundation warns that the incorrect use of ear buds can potentially lead to early hearing loss*. This can be particularly problematic for young people who are more likely to listen to music on personal music devices at excessively high volumes, says the Foundation*.

The popularity and accessibility of modern music devices has led to people listening to music for much longer periods of time. Ear buds also deliver the sound directly into the ear canal, which can be damaging if the volume is turned up too loud*.

Damage can also be done to your hearing health if you frequently enjoy loud music at concerts, festivals and bars. But that doesn’t mean you need to cut music out of your life entirely – you just need to implement a few sensible tips to look after your ears. One suggestion is switching from earbuds to headphones, which better isolate background noise and put extra space between eardrums and direct noise*.

Another option is turning down the volume on your device and taking regular breaks to give your ears a rest. If you’re going to a noisy venue or loud rock concert, take along a pair of earplugs to help look after your hearing – you’d be surprised at how much sound you can still hear while these are in.

If you have noticed your hearing is not as good as used to be, click here to book an appointment or call 1800 340 631.

*Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Hearing Loss Related to MP3 & iPod Usage. Accessed February 12, 2015. Available here.