City dwellers often use public transportation when moving around the city and traffic can be a harmful source of noise which can heighten the risk of hearing loss. However, listening to iPods or MP3 players on the way can cause just as much damage to your hearing.
New studies suggest that we often turn up the sound on our iPods and MP3 players to a volume so loud that the damaging noises from trains, busses and cars are drowned out by the music.
Among the commuters in New York City, one in ten were exposed to noise that exceeded the daily limit of 70 dB recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO). This is shown by a study by Rick Neitzel from The University of Michigan, USA.
4,500 New Yorkers participated in the study. It is especially those listening to music on their iPods and MP3 players who were at high risk of early hearing loss. Hence, the results indicate MP3 players and stereos in general to be the leading culprits when it comes to the causes of hearing disabilities in city dwellers.
Awareness is helpful
It is important to focus on the noise exposure we experience when we are at work, but as the study from University of Michigan suggests, it is equally necessary to be aware of how much damage we can cause to our hearing during the rest of the day.
What seems to be an innocuous leisure activity like using iPods, MP3 players and stereos is in fact a serious threat and may cause early hearing loss. By turning the music down, a hearing loss can be avoided in most cases.
According to Rick Neitzel it is not enough to focus on noise in the workplace. He suggests it to be a part of a public health program to inform city dwellers about the risks of urban life including traffic and listening to music while travelling in the city.
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