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11 May 2016 at 3:24PM

Teens: Beware of High Decibels!

Marie-Josée Paul
In: Prevention

Prolonged or repetitive exposure to loud sounds can lead to serious and permanent hearing impairment. Thanks to smart phones and portable music players, we are now able to enjoy high-quality music at high levels of sound—often much too high—for hours on end. What’s more, young people are attending concerts where sound levels are sky high. According to a study published by the International Journal of Audiology, 1 in 4 teenagers is at risk for hearing loss as a direct result of their music listening habits. As the impairment is irreversible, 10 to 20 years down the road, we could see a much earlier onset of partial deafness in an entire generation.

But there’s no call for panic. By raising awareness among young people about a few ground rules, teens will be able to keep enjoying their music without harming their ears!


  • Lower the volume.It should be set no higher than 60% of the device’s maximum. One sure sign that the music is much too loud is if someone standing three feet away can hear it!
  • Make sure your headphones are well fitted. And if you happen to have noise-cancelling headphones, all the better! These reduce background noises so sounds are clearer without having to crank up the volume.
  • Limit daily usage.Although lowering the volume is crucial, limiting the usage of audio devices to a maximum of 60 minutes per day is just as important.
  • In concerts,wear hearing protectors (ear plugs) and steer clear of sound sources such as speakers.
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