Some teens will have headphones on from 4:00 p.m. until midnight, said Dr. Chandrasekhar, at volumes reaching 90 to 100 decibels. “OSHA would come down on that workplace with a hammer,” she said. “But you can’t just say, ‘Don’t listen to loud music.’” Instead, she counsels her patients to use an equalizer on an iPhone or other device. “Turn up the bass and keep the volume down; you’ll have the same head-shaking effect without increasing the volume,” she added.
When counseling patients on the best headphones/earbuds to wear, Dr. Carter advises wearing those that fit over the top of the ear, rather than those that fit in the ear canal. “Over-the-ear headphones allow more of the noise to escape, and those with volume control allow you to keep the volume at a reasonable level,” he said.
Preserving hearing is important, said Dr. Chandrasekhar. “It’s very important to acknowledge that the joy of music is real, but we now know that if your ears ring after going to a concert or a club, it becomes difficult to hear even normal conversations later on. What we used to think was a temporary thing of hearing loss after a concert is now known to be permanent damage.”—CA
For more information
DrJulieWei.com: Dr. Wei’s website provides information about healthy eating and choices; it purports to help “provide an alternative to the overuse of prescription medications in kids” and “prevent and treat our kids’ common chronic ear, nose, and throat symptoms.”
HEAR Tomorrow: HEAR Tomorrow aims to help “promote hearing awareness and conservation to the audio, music, and hearing science communities.”