17 May 2010

Headphones and sports a dangerous cocktail

A personal stereo and headphones have become part of your sports equipment. when you go running or jogging, But the volume at which you listen to your favorite music or radio program when you go running or jogging with your head-phones, and the sweating from exerting yourself may cause hearing loss and other hearing disorders.

An increasing number of young Mexicans between the ages of 15 and 25 years suffer from hearing problems, according to specialists at the Mexican Institute of Social Security, IMSS. The number of visits to ENT doctors have increased up to 20 percent among young Mexicans over the past decade.

The specialists found that four in ten young Mexicans with hearing problems listened regularly to their MP3 with headphones while practicing sports. They concluded that this may be the main reason for the increasing numbers of hearing loss and tinnitus cases found in this age group.

Noise levels and sweat

The sound quality provided by recent personal stereo technology is better than ever. There is no sound distortion even when the volume is much too high. This encourages listeners to unknowingly turn up the volume to dangerous levels at great risk to their hearing.

Most of the young Mexicans affected by hearing loss and tinnitus listened to their MP3 at very high levels, from 80 dB to 120 dB, while practicing sports for extended periods of time. In most cases they were found to be suffering from reduced ability to hear high pitched frequencies, a sign of excessive noise exposure.

Wearing headphones while doing sports was also found to increase the probability of getting ear infections. Body temperature increases when you do sports, and the sweat remains in your ears due to the lack of ventilation, allowing bacteria and fungus to grow faster. This may lead to ear infections such as otitis, which in turn, may result en further hearing disorders if untreated.



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