Your ears will thank you!

In the world of music, the iPod is still the most popular MP3 player on the block. The small headphones that come with the iPod are a nearly ubiquitous sight on the bus, gym and around the city. But this little status symbol could be the creation of a generation that will experience hearing loss after a decade of use.

Although currently there is no evidence directly linking the iPod with hearing loss, research currently available do not show that excessive noise levels over a period of time, cause permanent hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur in approximately Level 5 (100 dB) in the apparatus about 15 minutes according to the CDC and NIOSH.

Earbud headphones allow the sound to be heard outside and it sends messages to the listener to increase the volume. Since iPods are so comfortable to use, discreetly and (the device can be easily concealed in a pocket), people are using more often. This combination of frequent use and increasing volume can cause permanent hearing loss.

Therefore, you should get rid of your iPod? Actually, that is unlikely. Instead, here are four tips to remember when using your iPod.
1. Limit the amount of time you use the device. Limit the time to listen every day to no more than 60 minutes.
2. Keep the volume at 65-70 decibels, which is the level of normal conversation. At this time, there is no way to establish restrictions on the volume of the device. A small increase in decibels (for example, 10 decibels) is like listening to the dial-tone (80 dB) versus a hairdryer (90 dB) closely.
3. Invest in noise canceling headphones. These headphones excluding background noise (such as aircraft noise) and allow the listener to listen to music at lower decibel levels. However, they are more expensive. Headphones cover the entire ear (instead of insertable earbud) are safe and affordable long term.
4. Do not allow your children to have an iPod. If you already have one, limit the use and monitoring the sound. As small as these devices are easy to put on headphones and listen at the same time in the car, on the bus, etc. If you are standing close to a person listening to music with headphones and you can hear, the volume level is too big.

It is unlikely that our interest and fascination with iPods will disappear. The best way to ensure healthy hearing is to limit the use of the iPod and still use the old methods of listening to your favorite music!

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