Studies Show: The iPod Will Make Us Deaf

Listen up, iPod users (while you still can).

You may love listening to your music on the way to class, during class, or in the library to drown out the sounds of those annoying kids who won’t shut up, but it looks like all that jamming is going to wreak havoc on your hearing.

It used to be a myth or a worry, but now there is actual proof that listening to your iPod or other personal music players (are there any besides the iPod?) too loud can lead to some pretty serious long-term problems. Like total hearing loss. The New York Times reports:

“Regularly listening to personal music players at high-volume settings when young,” the report said, “often has no immediate effect on hearing but is likely to result in hearing loss later in life.” The report is the latest of several to warn that the “MP3” generation of youths may be heading for hearing impairment in later life.

Um. Sh*t. Looks like our entire generation is gonna be without hearing in just a few short years. And those of us with those handy dandy inner-ear buds (like the crappy ones Apple makes that are always falling out of my ears) are even worse off, because they get even closer to our ear drums and cause more damage.

Want to be able to listen to music in your 40’s? Scientists recommend “limiting listening time to one hour per day and setting the volume to no more than 60 percent of maximum sound output when using headphones that are placed over the ears — and even less when using ear buds.”

It may be tempting to rock out to Journey on your way to a 9am class, but turn down the music. Not only does it annoy the rest of the people on the bus with you, but it just isn’t worth it when you consider the alternative: never being able to perform “Don’t Stop Believing” at Karaoke again.

Oh the horror.

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