Earbuds or Hearing Loss?

14 Mar

There seems to be no boundaries for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, now releasing his new $250,000 public health plan, which is targeting ear bud headphones. Bloomberg and NYC public health officials are scheduling a social media promotion to inform adolescents of the risks of losing their hearing from listening to music on their headphones at a high volume. You can barely go on a subway or walk down a busy NYC street without listening to the sounds of some song squeaking out of someone’s earbuds, reminding you that “tonight’s going be a good night.”

So is this the right choice for the Mayor to raise awareness of this so-called “problem” or is the problem exaggerated? Talking to Dr. Andrew J. Parker who is a ear nose and throat specialist from Norwalk, CT, he explains in detail of the problems that may be caused by these “dangerous” ear buds that the average American adolescent wears daily. “The standard ear buds that are placed in the ear canal and used with any typical iPod or MP3 player are so close to the inner ear it can cause internal damage if used at a high decibel.” Being an adolescent I was unaware of these so called hazards and would listen to my own iPod at an extreme level. Dr. Parker also said “as of the last few years I’ve had numerous adolescents come in daily with early signs of hearing loss. It cannot be targeted directly to the ear buds but almost all of the patients have told me that they used them.” Before talking to the doctor my original thoughts were Mayor Bloomberg isn’t supersized sodas a big enough target for one month? But ironically I find myself interested in this educational campaign.

The maximum safe level for ear phones is 85 decibels and iPods can reach up to 115 decibels which is potentially damaging to the ear drums. Considering I am a youngster, I think the campaign will be enlightening and hopefully beneficial in reducing the amount of hearing loss in teenagers instead of making them want to rebel against the campaign. But one question still arises are New Yorkers going to listen to the mayors campaign and turn down the volume or even change over to over the ear headphone or do they want the mayor to mind his own business and stop wasting more money? We will just have to wait and see the teenage reaction and results. ImageImage

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