People who listen to music with high volume on MP3 players might lose their hearing forever and reducing the volume even slightly can go a long way in reducing the damage to the ears.
The Royal National Institute for Deaf (RNID) tested 10 MP3 users and examined the volumes used at London's Victoria station. They found eight out of 10 had machines at more than 80 decibels, a noise level considered potentially hazardous, said the online edition of BBC News.
The RNID says it is not trying to stop people from listening to MP3 players - or from going to pubs, bars and clubs and enjoying music - but does want to encourage people to protect themselves against the cumulative effects of loud music.
Listening too loudly for too long a period of time causes hearing loss from noise. Ringing and buzzing in the ears are "warning signs" that hearing could be damaged, it said.
MP3 player manufacturers have a responsibility to make their customers aware of the risks and the need to listen at sensible levels and we urge them to incorporate prominent warnings into the packaging of their products, the charity said.
"New technology and ever-increasing storage capacity enable people to listen non-stop for hours - and at louder volumes than ever before. If you are regularly plugged in, it is only too easy to clock up noise doses that could damage your hearing forever," John Low, chief executive of RNID, warned.
He added: "It's clear young people are not only shockingly unaware of any risk to their hearing, but also manufacturers aren't yet doing enough to warn people.
"We want people to be aware of the risks and take control to protect their hearing and are willing to help manufacturers come up with an effective solution to this growing problem."
However, there are ways people can protect their hearing. Take a five minutes break every hour to allow ears to recover, the charity suggests to MP3 listeners.