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Headphones are causing damage to teens today.

Owen Paznokas, First Year Reporter

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Ever worn earbuds, do you wear them regularly, how long do you listen on them? All questions you should be asking because recent studies are showing that earbud usage is causing hearing loss across the united states. Now that smartphones are a daily companion headphones are used every day by teens in America and across the world making media and music free and easily accessible to all.
According to the New York times statistics they say half of eight to twelve year olds listen to music with headphones and two thirds of teenagers are listening as well every single day. Since headphone manufacturers don’t care about teens health but increasing sales of their products users of headphones are at a very high risk of developing hearing loss.
When listening to music the amount of decibels you are hearing is not a linear relationship. So say you are listening at 70 decibels, then turn it up to 80. You have doubled the amount

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Technology Headphones Audio Earbuds

of noise you are hearing and since headphones we listen to have no restrictions at turning up noise levels to an extremely high amount a few notches on your volume button could be all the difference between hearing and hearing damage.
At these extremely high levels of exposure you should only be listening for a short amount of time where it is safe. For instance, listening to a lawnmower. It runs extremely loud but for fifteen minutes or so it is safe to listen. But after that it could cause damage, but when you’re listening to music you usually will be listening for a while and will not realize the risks. According to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety in 1998 said that 85 decibels was safe for adults at eight hours. However, a normal mobile device when turned all the way up produced about 100 decibels.
Most teens don’t even consider the risk when they plug in. I asked a few students around Kentridge how often and how loud they listen to music. A freshman at Kentridge high school Sachel Rogers tells me that his parents remind him of the dangers of earbud damage. He still listens to headphones from 1 to 4 hours a day. “Yes headphones have become a part of mine and many others daily lives.”
To keep yourself safe from this listen to music at sixty percent on your phone and try to take breaks every hour or so if you’re listening for a long time. Another good test is if someone is talking to you that is an arm’s length away you should be able to hear them, if you can’t you might be listening to loud. But don’t let this discourage you from listening to music, just stay safe and keep your ears healthy.

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