The Danger of Headphones
Especially the In-Ear type such as Earbuds, Buds, Earphones.
When the ears are left unprotected during extremely loud noises for an extended period of time, inner ear structures can be permanently damaged. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss. While damage can be done through long term exposure from car speakers, loud concerts and more, headphones and earphones seem to be the worst as far as your ears go. Kids love the comfort and improved sound quality of earbuds that are used with iPods and MP3 players. So much so that this causes them to increase the volume to dangerous levels. Background noise is a greater interference with music reception with in-ear phones more than through over-the-ear headphones, which is another reason it causes users to crank the volume up even higher. As the loudness level increases, measured in decibels (dB), the safe time for exposure decreases. The amount of hearing loss one will endure depends on volume (dB) and length of time that the individual is exposed to that sound.
***If you can hear the music being delivered into a person's ear via headphones or earphones, it is too loud and can lead to tinnitus and/or permanent hearing loss!!***
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
While headphones and earphones can cause permanent hearing loss, they are not the only things. Some examples of noises that can cause hearing loss immediately or over time include:
Prevention of Noise Induced Hearing Loss
One way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss caused by prolonged exposure to loud sounds is ear plugs. Ear plugs decrease the intensity (volume) of the sound that reaches the eardrum. Kids and teens should be advised to turn down the volume, especially if someone nearby can hear what is being delivered into their ears. It is a good rule of thumb that the radio in your car should be turned down if you cannot have a conversation with the person sitting next to you at a normal voice volume.
Lastly, protect small children from loud noises such as fireworks and yes, even their own toys. Parents should not buy "noisy" toys. Some toys with sirens can emit sound as loud as a lawn mower! The American Speech Language and Hearing Association recommends that you examine toys you already have at home. Remove the batteries or discard the toys if they are too noisy and pose a potential danger to hearing. Some parents place heavy duct tape over the speakers on noisy toys.