Beware of blasting your music on your iPod: A recent study shows that the number of American adolescents who have hearing loss has increased by 31 percent over the past two decades. Though the study didn’t specify whether the increase in hearing loss was caused by listening to loud music, it notes that high-frequency hearing loss is associated with “noise exposure.”
While completely tuning the rest of the world out with your music can be cathartic and relaxing, it’s important to be careful with how you listen. Hearing experts say the best way to help prevent hearing loss is to turn the volume down, take listening breaks, and use ear protection like earplugs when surrounded by loud environments. And this doesn’t just apply to times when you’re using your iPod. Loud noises at bars and clubs, music concerts and construction or yard work can cause as much damage. Experts say that listening devices like iPods and MP3 players are fine as long as the volume is at a reasonable level.

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