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portable music players and cellular telephones, at high volume
settings for long durations may lead to permanent noise-induced
hearing loss. This includes the use of headphones (including
headsets, earbuds, and Bluetooth or other wireless devices).
Exposure to very loud sound has also been associated in some
studies with tinnitus (a ringing in the ear), hypersensitivity to
sound and distorted hearing.
Individual susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss and
potential hearing problem varies. Additionally, the amount of
sound produced by a portable audio device varies depending on
the nature of the sound, the device settings, and the headphones
that are used. As a result, there is no single volume setting that is
appropriate for everyone or for every combination of sound,
settings and equipment.
You should follow some commonsense recommendations when
using any portable audio device:
Set the volume in a quiet environment and select the lowest volume at
which you can hear adequately.
When using headphones, turn the volume down if you cannot hear the
people speaking near you or if the person sitting next to you can hear
what you are listening to.
Do not turn the volume up to block out noisy surroundings. If you
choose to listen to your portable device in a noisy environment, use
noise-cancelling headphones to block out background environmental
noise. By blocking background environment noise, noise cancelling
headphones should allow you to hear the music at lower volumes than
when using earbuds.
Limit the amount of time you listen. As the volume increases, less time
is required before you hearing could be affected.
Avoid using headphones after exposure to extremely loud noises, such
as rock concerts, that might cause temporary hearing loss. Temporary
hearing loss might cause unsafe volumes to sound normal.
Do not listen at any volume that causes you discomfort. If you
experience ringing in your ears, hear muffled speech or experience
any temporary hearing difficulty after listening to your portable audio
device, discontinue use and consult your doctor.
You can obtain additional information on this subject from the
American Academy of Audiology
11730 Plaza American Drive, Suite 300
Reston, VA 20190
Voice: (800) 222-2336