Ear Buds Not Always a Safe Bet

By: Leah Kraus Email
By: Leah Kraus Email

It's a small piece of technology, but ear buds can have a big, and very negative impact on your ears.

Many of us use ear buds to listen to our favorite songs, and some phones even come with a pair already in the box when you purchase them. But doctors are warning that ear buds can be bad for you.

Dr. Michael Dahlke, an audiologist at E-N-T Associates in Wausau says that it's not necessarily the genre of music that you listen to, it's the intensity at which you are playing the music. He says that one of the most frequent times people play music at a high volume is when they are exercising and are trying to drown out the sound of a treadmill at the gym. Turning up the sound forces greater sound pressure down the ear canal.

"With teens and pre-teens the concern may even be greater because of the smaller ear canal volume," says Dahlke. "There is a greater sound pressure down the ear canal itself."

He recommends an ear mold that creates a seal in the ear so that ambient noise is not increased. With a strong seal, you don't need to turn the sound up, because there isn't as much outside noise.

Dahlke says you should keep the volume on your iPod at half or lower. Any higher and you risk hurting your ears.

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