While IPods are fast replacing conventional cassette players and even the modern CD systems, listening to them too loudly may cause serious hearing impairment, reveals a new study.
A survey by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) has found that more than half of 16 to 30 year-olds use MP3 players for more than an hour a day, which results in increasing the risk of permanent hearing damage from listening to music in them.
According to experts, this happens because the devices are capable of playing music more loudly than ever before.
"If young people don’t heed our warnings about safer listening, they could end up facing premature hearing damage. Our initial findings show very clearly that young people are frighteningly unaware of the dangers of listening to their MP3 players too loudly," the Daily Mail quoted Dr John Low, the chief executive of the RNID, as saying.
"New technology and ever-increasing storage capacity enables people to listen non-stop for hours and at louder volumes than ever before," Dr Low added.
Angela King, a senior audiologist at the RNID, however claims that adjusting the volume to suit our ears may to some extent reduce the risk.
"Reducing the volume slightly on these devices can go a long way to reducing the damage to your ears. We’re also aware that some users are downloading unofficial codes to override the volume limiters of leading brands of MP3 players to increase their maximum volume levels," said Angela King
"A three-decibel increase may not seem like a lot, but sound pressure doubles at that level so users are effectively halving the time they can listen at low risk," she added.